Best websites for comparing hospitals

These sites allow you to compare hospitals by using such variables as geographic location, specialty, accreditations, and awards.

Health.USNews.com links to U.S. News & World Report’s “best hospitals” list and allows you to sort medical centers by specialty and geographic region. The site’s list is controversial because it gives extra weight to hospitals with academic centers, but it’s “a useful starting point.”

WhyNotTheBest.org is run by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund and presents comparative government data on hospitals in an easy-to-read format.

QualityCheck.org “allows for a search of facilities near your ZIP code,” and lists all accreditations and awards. It’s run by the nonprofit Joint Commission, an accrediting organization for hospitals and other health organizations.

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DartmouthAtlas.org focuses on how effectively hospitals use health-care dollars, “especially near the end of life.”

Source: Sarasota, Fla., Herald-Tribune

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