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Hospital Care: Does Your State Rate?

All states -- even ones at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to hospital care -- have good hospitals and bad hospitals. What do you look for in a good hospital?

How well does the hospital check and improve on its own quality of care?

More and more hospitals are trying to improve the quality of their care. One way is to keep track of patient outcomes for certain procedures. Another way is to keep track of patient injuries and infections that occur in the hospital. By finding out what works and what doesn't, the hospital can improve the way it treats patients.

Ask the hospital quality management (or assurance) department how it monitors and improves the hospital's quality of care. Also, ask for any patient satisfaction surveys the hospital has done. These will tell you how other patients have rated the quality of their care.

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