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Consumer Reports Launches Online Hospital Ratings for More Than 3,400 U.S. Hospitals
Date:8/3/2009

hemselves," Santa said.

Santa said CR's Ratings point to several areas of concern with U.S. hospitals. "Too many hospitals are falling down on the job in key areas such as communication about new medications, discharge planning, and staff attentiveness," he said. A total of 3,141 hospitals, or 92% of all hospitals rated, were given the lowest Ratings for staff communication about new medications; 2,794 hospitals, or 82%, received the lowest marks for discharge instructions; and, 910, or 27%, received low marks for attentiveness of staff.

"Clearly patients aren't getting enough information about new drugs that are being prescribed for them. When a patient starts a new prescription drug, that's the time to make sure they fully understand the drug, its side effects, how it interacts with other drugs a patient might be taking, the correct dosing, and when to contact a doctor if there's a problem," said Santa. "The performance of hospitals when it comes to discharge is truly lackluster. While hospitals work to correct this, patients need to be forewarned so they can do everything in their power to get the right hospital staff working with them on their exit strategy, otherwise their chances of ending up right back in the hospital are increased," added Santa.

Think like a Nurse: Tips from the Trenches

To help consumers navigate their hospitals, the Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted an April 2009 survey of a national sample of 731 nurses who worked throughout the hospital -- in the emergency room, critical-care units, operating rooms, and other parts of the hospital. Their collective wisdom is synthesized with findings from interviews with doctors, patients, social workers, hospital officials, hospital pharmacists, and dietitians in an extensive report available in the September issue of Consumer Reports and online at www.Consu
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SOURCE Consumer Reports
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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