AUGUSTA — Mainers now have an easy and reliable way to compare the quality of doctors and hospitals around the state, according to the creators of a new website.

The Maine Health Management Coalition Foundation, which includes hospitals, medical practices, insurers and large employers, unveiled the new ratings website www.getbettermaine.org at a news conference at the State House today.

It allows patients to look up a medical condition or procedure and see which are the top-rated doctors and hospitals in and around their communities. The ratings are based on voluntarily reported data such as infection rates and protocols for preventing medication errors.

The coalition and its partners, including the State Employees Health Commission, have been working for years to publicize quality data as a way to improve health care in Maine. The state was one of the first to post such ratings on an earlier website several years ago, and advocates say it has contributed to significant improvements in diabetes care and other measures. Maine now ranks fourth in overall health care quality nationwide, according to federal ratings.

Getbettermaine.org provides more information and is easier for patients to use than the initial website. Its creators say it will gradually include even more information, including cost comparisons.

The website also was supported by the Maine Quality Forum, Maine Quality Counts, Maine Health Access Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

 

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