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Quality at Rush
Internet Resources

A range of organizations have published information about the quality of hospital care online. Below, we've listed a number of organizations' websites as sources, providing a variety of perspectives and methods of assessing hospital quality. We will continue to add to and improve this information to make it as useful to you as possible. 

Websites that explain quality of care

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is the lead federal agency charged with improving the quality, safety, efficiency and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. On this site you will find information to help you better understand quality of care and safety  and how to find it  along with several helpful checklists, videos and other references.

Websites with specific quality information about hospitals

Hospital websites
Government websites
Media websites
Health care and quality organizations' websites
Ratings and information organizations' websites


More and more frequently, hospitals are posting their quality of care data on their own websites. Those most committed to transparency will publicly share information on where their care needs improvement as well as where their care compares favorably to others. It's valuable to look at independent sites, where you can compare hospitals, in addition to an individual hospital's site. That way, you get a more complete picture of a hospital's quality of care.

Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems

The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey is designed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services. It is a national patient health care survey designed to report patients' perspectives on care in many areas, including communication, responsiveness and pain control; HCAHPS is updated every three months. (Also, see Hospital Compare below.)

Information reported and source: Adult patients are asked to answer the HCAHPS survey questions within six weeks of hospital discharge; hospitals generally must have at least 300 surveys from patients each year to be included.
Search capabilities: You can search by hospital name, ZIP code, city, state and county. You can then sort by a general, medical condition or surgical procedure search. You can select up to three hospitals to compare data.
Cost to use: Free
How to access: If you want background on the details of how the patient survey is conducted, visit If you want to look at the patient survey results for a hospital and compare it to others as well as to national and state averages, visit This site also lets you see and compare results on a hospital's clinical quality.

Hospital Compare

Hospital Compare is a joint venture between the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Health and Human Services and other members of the Hospital Quality Alliance: Improving Care Through Information, which provides hospitals' health care ratings in patient care.

Information reported and source: Hospital Compare offers comparisons of hospitals based on core performance measures and results from the national HCAHPS survey, which reports patients' views on the quality of health care received.
Search capabilities: You can search by hospital name, ZIP code, city, state and county. You can then sort by a general, medical condition or surgical procedure search. You can select up to three hospitals to compare data.
Cost to use: Free
How to access:

Illinois Department of Public Health

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is responsible for health education and disease prevention, and the regulation and delivery of health care services in Illinois.

Information reported and source: IDPH's Hospital Report Card Web site offers comparisons of hospitals based on core performance measures, mortality and readmission rates, safety indicators, staffing levels, patient volume by condition, and results from the national HCAHPS survey, which reports patients' views on the quality of health care received.
Search capabilities: You can search by hospital name, ZIP code, region or county. You can select multiple hospitals to compare data.
Cost to use: Free
How to access:

Illinois Hospital Association

The Illinois Hospital Association represents approximately 200 hospitals and health systems in the state. Its Illinois Hospitals: Caring for You website provides hospital profiles, which include quality performance and patient satisfaction results, nurse staffing information and a listing of services provided to inpatients, outpatients and the community.

Information reported and source: Most of the information on this site is information that hospitals in Illinois report to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is available on the Hospital Compare site. The site contains information about nurse staffing levels that Illinois hospitals are required by law to submit.
Search capabilities: You can search by hospital name, location, patients served by health conditions and hospital services. You can then select up to three hospitals to compare data.
Cost to use: Free
How to access:


U.S.News & World Report

U.S.News & World Report is a national newsmagazine. It annually publishes a list of hospitals nationwide in its "America's Best Hospitals" issue. It ranks the top hospitals in 16 adult and 10 pediatric specialty areas.

Information reported and source: U.S.News & World Report - America's Best Hospitals provides hospital rankings in 16 specialty areas for more than 4,800 hospitals. Rankings for the adult hospitals are based on medical outcomes, reputation of programs among physician specialists, and care-related indicators, including patient volume, nurse staffing levels, nursing Magnet award status, safety and the presence of specialty programs nationally recognized for their clinical excellence.
Search capabilities: You can search by hospital name, specialty ranking, special service or feature, city/state or ZIP code.
Designations and recognitions: The America's Best Hospitals issue lists the top 50 hospitals in each of the 16 specialty areas. Hospitals that make their Honor Roll rank at or near the top of these lists in at least six specialties.
Cost to use: Free
How to access:

American Nurses Credentialing Center

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association that certifies nurses in specialty practices and identifies best nursing practices and strategies. Their Magnet recognition program identifies excellence in nursing in health care organizations, including hospitals.

Information reported and source: The ANCC website lists Magnet-recognized organizations, including their location, website, first year of recognition and subsequent recognitions. Magnet recognition is determined by an organization's self-application and, for qualified applicants, a follow-up site visit. Recognition is based on the following: transformational leadership; structural empowerment; exemplary professional practice; new knowledge, innovation and improvements; and empirical outcomes.
Search capabilities: You can search by state to find Magnet hospitals.
Designations and recognitions: The ANCC awards hospitals with Magnet recognition for excellence in nursing.
Cost to use: Free
How to access:

The Joint Commission

The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that evaluates, accredits and certifies more than 17,000 health care organizations and programs across the United States with the goal to improve health care.

Information reported and source: The Joint Commission's Quality Check site provides a summary and comparisons of accredited health care organizations and includes patient satisfaction data, mortality measures and certified program information.
Search capabilities: You can search by organization name, ZIP code or city and state. Within a ZIP code or city/state search, you can sort by type of service or type of provider/certification. You can compare up to four hospitals at a time.
Designations and recognitions: The Joint Commission provides overall accreditation to hospitals. It gives a Gold Seal of Approval to organizations that met the standards for performance in key areas, such as patient rights, patient treatment, medication safety and infection control. It also provides certifications in disease-specific care, such as diabetes and stroke.
Cost to use: Free
How to access: The site's Quality Check section provides information about hospital quality and recognition.

The Leapfrog Group

The Leapfrog Group is a national, not-for-profit organization that promotes health care safety, affordability, efficiency and quality improvement.

Information reported and source: Information is based on hospitals' progress toward meeting Leapfrog standards for quality and safety in patient care. It draws from patient survey information reported by more than 1,200 hospitals across the United States. Leapfrog offers the only national, public comparison of hospital quality factoring in mortality rates for certain common procedures, infection rates, safety practices and measures of efficiency.
Search capabilities: You can search by city, state, ZIP code and hospital name. You can sort by overall safety and select procedures. You can compare hospitals within these results.
Designations and recognitions: Leapfrog annually lists top hospitals that meet stringent performance standards, meaning excellent and efficient outcomes for patients.
Cost to use: Free
How to access:


The Premier healthcare alliance shares quality of care and facilities' management information to health care organizations to help them reduce costs, improve quality and safety, and manage risk.

Information reported and source: Premier uses the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' inpatient, U.S. acute care facilities data when selecting hospitals for their Award for Quality.
Designations and recognitions: Premier selects hospitals for an Award for Quality that recognizes health care organizations' excellence in measures of quality for clinical outcomes, efficient resource use and clinical processes.
Cost to use: Free
How to access:

University HealthSystem Consortium

The University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) is an alliance of academic medical centers and their affiliated hospitals representing approximately 90 percent of the nation's not-for-profit academic medical centers.

Information reported and source: Each year, the University HealthSystem Consortium surveys its member institutions' health care processes and outcomes of those processes, and reports to the public the hospitals that have the best overall care and outcomes. The survey rates hospitals according to the following measures: patient safety, effectiveness, equity of care, efficiency and patient centeredness. This is a "risk-adjusted" measure, which includes a great range of different types of patients.
Search capabilities: The UHC publishes a press release annually citing the member organizations with the highest levels of quality each year, which is available to the public on their site. Detailed information about quality is only accessible to member institutions.
Designations and recognitions: UHC releases a list of hospitals that are considered "top-performing hospitals" among their member institutions.
Cost to use: Free to access the UHC press releases naming the member hospitals with the highest performance on quality outcomes.
How to access : The general site for the University HealthSystem Consortium is Most of the content is accessible only to member hospitals. However, under the "News Center" tab, the public can access news releases and public information, including the most recent release that lists the top five UHC member academic medical centers for overall quality.

Consumer Reports (Health)

Consumer Reports is published by the Consumers Union, which is an independent, not-for-profit organization. Its health section provides information about patients' experiences with health-related products, hospitals and other health care providers.

Information reported and source: Consumer Reports provides a rating of hospitals based on the following two factors: patient surveys about their experiences at the hospital and the "intensity" of the care. The patient survey ratings are from a national government survey of adult patients' hospital stays from more than 3,000 hospitals across the United States, the HCAHPS survey. The information on the "intensity" of care comes from the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care.
Search capabilities: You can search by state, city/county or a specific hospital. You can select up to five hospitals for comparison.
Cost to use: Paid subscription is required for detailed information and reports from Consumer Reports. The same information about patient experiences survey can be obtained for free on the federal site The information on "intensity" of care is available for free at
How to access:

Consumers' CHECKBOOK (Health & Healthcare)

Consumers' CHECKBOOK is an independent, not-for-profit, consumer information and service resource organization.

Information reported and source: Consumers' CHECKBOOK provides health care information, including a guide to hospitals, showing patient safety measures and patients' and doctors' ratings; information is pulled from 30 million hospital records, as well as physicians' responses to 280,000 questionnaires about their local hospitals.
Search capabilities: You can search their guides for comparisons of death and other adverse outcomes, patients' and doctors' ratings, key patient safety measures and testing and procedures. Guides are available for the following categories: Hospitals, top doctors, health plans, dentists, emergency rooms, diseases and treatments.
Cost to use: A paid subscription is required to view the guides. Articles may be purchased individually. Free topics are listed on the main "Health & Healthcare" page.
How to access:


HealthGrades is an independent, for-profit health care ratings organization that provides performance reports on hospitals, physicians and nursing homes.

Information reported and source: HealthGrades provides current and previous year's performance ratings on 5,000 acute care hospitals across the United States; information is pulled from the Medicare program, individual state insurance and transplantation data. The results, like many of the publicly reported quality measures, are limited to patients in the Medicare program.
Search capabilities: You can search by state and city. You can then sort by procedure and diagnosis or an award recipient category.
Designations and recognitions: America's 50 Best Hospitals Award, Distinguished Hospital-Clinical Excellence Award, Outstanding Patient Experience Award, Patient Safety Excellence Award, Specialty excellence awards (specific to specialty areas), Women's Health Excellence Award
Cost to use: Free to view general information about hospitals, such as awards and patient-safety ratings. Purchase is required to view detailed reports, such as service-line ratings. Hospitals must pay to promote or publish their mentions in HealthGrades.
How to access:

Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters is a for-profit information source in several areas of interest to businesses and professionals. The Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks study provides an independent, quantitative measure of a hospital's performance that includes key clinical, financial and operational data.

Information reported and source: Thomson Reuters evaluates 2,926 short-term, acute-care, nonfederal hospitals and ranks the top 100 based on performance in 10 key areas, including mortality, medical complications, patient safety, average length of stay, expenses, profitability, patient satisfaction, adherence to clinical standards of care, and after discharge mortality and readmission rates.
Designations and recognitions: Thomson Reuters annually designates the top 100 hospitals in the nation, based on their 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks study. Hospitals are evaluated against similar hospitals, in terms of size and teaching status.
Cost to use: Free to access list of winners. Detailed reports are available for purchase.
How to access:

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