Experts: Hospital report card needs easy language

April 14, 2010 12:22:09 PM PDT
Consumer advocates are giving Illinois fairly good marks for an online hospital report card. But it doesn't get an A-plus.

Patients can use the Web-based tool to see how hospitals measure up on safety, nurse staffing levels and even prices.

But national patient safety experts say they want the report card to use easier language.

Diane Pinakiewicz is president of the nonprofit National Patient Safety Foundation in Boston. She praises the Illinois site but says its jargon is hard to understand.

Lisa McGiffert of Consumers Union's Safe Patient Project says the site is easy to navigate. She likes that it allows patients to compare several hospitals at once. But she wants to see simpler language and more clarity on why some scores are good or bad.


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