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New Catholic Health Systems website provides data to patients

Catholic Health Systems is moving to provide to the public detailed information on its hospitals by launching a website with data on treatment outcomes, patient experiences and other quality measures.

The Know Your Health Care site is aimed at current and prospective patients of the Catholic Health Systems hospitals -- Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Sisters of Charity Hospital and Sisters' St. Joseph Campus -- and launched earlier this month.

Catholic Health administrators say they are the first hospital system in the area, and one of just a handful of hospitals in the state, to offer this data set to the public.

"This is an example of us being very transparent," said Joseph D. McDonald, Catholic Health's president and CEO, during a meeting this week with reporters and editors of The Buffalo News.

The site, www.chsbuffalo.org/knowyourhealthcare, offers details on various awards and accreditations the hospitals and the hospital system have received; how the hospitals compare to peer facilities in different treatment categories; and rates of poor outcomes such as patient falls and bed sores.

This website is an attempt to respond to provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act, and other health care reforms, that seek to allow consumers to make informed decisions about their health care.

Most of the information comes from Catholic Health, but Dr. Brian D'Arcy, the senior vice president of health affairs, emphasized the system is self-reporting negative, as well as positive, data.

And the Catholic Health System's site does offer links to third-party organizations that provide independent data on hospital performance, such as Medicare's Hospital Compare program and the Leapfrog Group.

The site does not include information on the average cost of these services, but McDonald told The News' editorial board that he expects the site to include pricing information in the future.

"The website is going to constantly be added to," he said.

--- Stephen T. Watson

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