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Transparency is a major initiative in health care today. It is no longer acceptable to not report medical errors and near misses. Across the nation, initiatives are requiring health care professionals to report these incidents in order to address the causes behind them. Health care consumers are demanding access to this information and are feeling more empowered to register consumer complaints when they think their safety or quality of care has been compromised.

HealthGrades, online at, offers consumers transparency about health care organizations and providers. HealthGrades services help consumers make the best health care choices based on safety and quality of care thereby minimizing the chances they will experience a medical mistake and need to voice complaints.

HealthGrades evaluates hospitals, nursing homes and physicians and provide quality ratings and profiles on for consumers, corporations, health plans and hospitals. HealthGrades and provides independent quality ratings and cost information for the nation's 5,000 hospitals, quality ratings for 16,000 nursing homes, and in-depth profiles of the nation's 750,000 physicians.

HealthGrades helps to reduce the number of health care consumer complaints by providing solutions to one of today's toughest health care challenges: the safety and quality of patient care. HealthGrades partners with hospitals and health care organizations to help them make clinical quality the core strategic imperative of their organizations. HealthGrades helps hospitals to understand, improve and communicate the safety and quality of care they deliver through a suite of products and physician-led clinical-advisory services. HealthGrades currently works with more than 400 hospitals nationwide. HealthGrades' consultants work with these organizations to improve patient safety and quality of care in such areas as cardiology, orthopedics, critical care, and gastrointestinal medicine.

HealthGrades' team of researchers and statisticians generate the most comprehensive annual studies on hospital quality in America. These well-respected public studies identify national trends in hospital quality including clinical excellence, patient safety, and women's health.

HealthGrades also works with physicians to help them better educate patients and prospective patients about their specialties through and the HealthGrades Connecting PointTM Program.

Consumers visiting HealthGrades can find detailed profiles on 750,000 physicians including HealthGrades' Five-star Doctors and details on the physician's board certification, hospital affiliations and whether there are any sanctions, complaints or disciplinary actions against the doctor. Health care consumers can also search for information about other health care providers and professionals, including dentists, athletic trainers, nutritionists, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and physical therapists. Information about alternative medicine specialists is also accessible online including chiropractors, homeopaths, massage therapists, and acupuncturists.

HealthGrades' Health Management Suite is used by many of the nation's largest health plans and employers to give their employees and plan members access to a complete set of decision-support tools that include provider ratings, health optimization modules, and health care finance tools.

HealthGrades also provides critical information to more than 40 liability insurance companies, including the top three nursing home and hospital insurers, to assess providers' quality and risk potential.

In addition, HealthGrades encourages health care consumers to empower themselves with relevant medical information through its network of educational Web sites that include,,, and and Web sites provide easily accessible online medical health information. These sites are independent, objective sources of free, factual health information for both consumers and health professionals. and help health care consumers understand their health better by offering crucial and accurate health information that is otherwise difficult to find. The objective of both sites is to encourage consumers to be informed and interested in managing their health, and to know what questions to ask their doctors to help ensure they receive the best health care possible. and have such features as a symptom checker and lists of questions that a physician should ask to help reach a specific diagnosis. Health care consumers can research symptoms, diseases and conditions, and join online forums. The Web sites also provide links to important and timely health care and medical news articles. is a popular and comprehensive online source that provides health care consumer news about current research and clinical trial opportunities. The Web site also offers free disease information and treatment options on more than 2,000 diseases and conditions through online articles. On you can search for and recall information on a condition you may have, see various treatment options, and view information on research currently taking place for a particular condition. You can also access research and treatment trials for a particular condition that are currently looking for participants.

HealthGrades also gives consumers the opportunity to rate their physicians through an online survey on the Web site Health care consumer response is welcomed concerning wait time, courtesy of the office staff, and trust in the physician. The survey is free, confidential, and does not ask the consumer for personal information. Consumers can also see how their physician compares with other physicians nationwide.

The Web site also offers a survey for users of HealthGrades services. Consumer and company response is welcomed on the Web site survey. Simply click on the survey tab in the upper right hand corner of the home page.

In these ways HealthGrades and are helping to increase health care transparency, improve quality and patient safety, and reduce consumer complaints. HealthGrades' independent ratings, consulting, and products have helped millions of consumers and hundreds of the nation's largest employers, health plans and hospitals to make well-informed health care decisions.

Accessing HealthGrades' services and the wealth of information HealthGrades offers is easier than picking up the phone. Simply visit and find the information you need to make the best health care decisions for you and your family. - Consumer complaints for doctors


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