Submitted by ub on Thu, 06/19/2014 - 19:09

Consumers have a vast amount of information available to them at their fingertips by simply going online and doing some basic research. However, the time to choose the best hospital for you and your family is when you are healthy. When comparing hospitals, published reports can vary widely.

In an effort to help consumers gauge a hospital’s performance, there are multiple groups, nonprofit organizations and private companies offering ratings and comparisons.

HealthGrades, a private company based in Golden, Colo., charges a fee to access performance data at individual hospitals, it tries to distill the many statistics into ratings that reflect safety and quality. In its annual study of mortality and complication rates, for example, the company collects administrative coding from millions of Medicare patient records for 26 common inpatient procedures and diagnoses, to determine which hospitals had the best outcomes. Its ratings are available for free.

The Joint Commission tracks performance over dozens of types of care, including addiction, intensive care or podiatry, and allows users to compare six hospitals at once using its Internet database.

The Leapfrog Group of corporations and public agencies that purchase health care for their employees, surveys more than 1,300 hospitals across the country for quality and safety practices, including Intensive Care Units staffing and computerized records. Search its online database to see how various hospitals performed on 10 procedures like weight-loss surgery and high-risk delivery.

If you do not like hospitals, the consider the following information:

Consumer Reports, one of the most trusted national publications compared US Hospitals. We are providing their comparison of our 2 area hospitals. Jacobi and Montefiore, showing how each compares with each other.…

Yellow Pages even gives you a list, with ratings. Notice that Motefiore Hospital has several stars, compared to Jacobi Hospital.

NY Magazine's Best local doctors shows where they practice