The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has improved its data quality procedures to provide a new service for patients.
In what amounts to a significant change in the way the department manages its data, the HHS has begun publishing an analysis of hospitals' performance online.
This allows patients to check up on how their local facilities are performing, with things such as medical errors, readmission rates and patient satisfaction being recorded.
However, this is not only a resource for patients - the hospitals themselves are using them as guidance, as this data will form the benchmark for the provision of Medicare funding.
"We … have been very focused on these measures. We want to pay for value and quality," Lorraine Ryan, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Philadelphia, told the Times Tribune.
This follows an admission from dedicated military healthcare program Tricare that data on some 4.9 million patients was lost last month.
Posted by Paul Newton