This year I had the experience of spending time in two hospitals. Not as a patient, but once as a wife and another as a daughter. My husband ended up as a patient in Sky Ridge Medical Center located in Lone Tree.

Sky Ridge Medical Center

A few months later, my father became ill and became a patient at a 100 year old hospital in N.J. In fact it was the Jersey Shore Medical Center, the same hospital I was born in a few million moons ago.

The contrast between the two hospitals was vast, I can hardly compare the differences. The Colorado Hospital was run like a hotel, it was spotlessly clean, with attentive staff who provided outstanding care. My favorite part was how my husband was able to call "room service" when he was hungry. He was there for nearly a week and didn't have one complaint.

The N.J. hospital experience was less than wonderful. My Father's care was abysmal. He was left unattended for long periods of time, developed bed sores and other infections. Now granted older folks tend to develop issues younger folks don't get. The fact he was left unattended on a floor that was supposedly "intensive care" was unforgivable. More than once me or my sister had to run in search of staff for assistance.

Given a chance to choose which hospital to go, I can assure you based on this experience I would never go back to Jersey Shore for care. But aside from my personal experience, how does one know where to go?

In this age of transparency where consumers are demanding to have information in order to make choices, Colorado has now stepped forward to provide exactly that! Last month Governor Bill Ritter unveiled a new website intended to help consumers make more informed medical choices.

The Colorado Hospital Report Card is available for all to review. It provides information about mortality rates and lists the number of cases each hospital handles for 34 procedures.

The information will be updated annually. Colorado hospitals are required to report on clinical measures so consumers can compare.

Now consumers can research a hospital and pick the one with the best track record. No more do we consumers have to make choices based on Blind Faith!

It might also raise the standard of hospital care in Colorado by bringing competition into the picture.

Overall transparency is good for everyone.

Hooray for Colorado by leading the way in the fight to improve health care. As a Denver Realtor need I say, it's just one more reason to call Colorado home. :)

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