Today we launch our new AZ Hospital Compare website which (for the first time) provides an online searchable database to help Arizonans make educated decisions about their healthcare. The new website will allow patients and their families to explore the care and outcomes, costs and charges of Arizona’s licensed hospitals.  The transparency that the site provides regarding outcomes will no doubt improve hospital performance as well.

For example, expectant mothers will be able to look for a hospital that excels in uncomplicated newborn deliveries or lower C-section rates.  Patients planning a knee replacement or shoulder surgery can learn how much they would be charged at one hospital versus another and find out how hospitals compare when it comes to healthcare associated infections from surgeries.  The online tool also helps healthcare professionals, policy makers, and legislators to develop and implement important health policies and best practice guidelines that will increase the quality of health care, while reducing costs.

The site uses data from 2011 inpatient discharges collected from all Arizona licensed hospitals.  The website contains complete supporting documentation on the methodology used and integrated processes like the quality indicators and the cost-to-charge ratios.  This website has the potential to be a positive step towards transparency in Arizona hospital care.