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Quality, Safety and Patient Experience Performance at Dartmouth-Hitchcock

You expect quality and safety from your doctors and hospitals. So do we.

This is why we are sharing our quality, safety, and patient experience information publically, so that you have more information to help you make decisions about your care—like what hospital and doctors you choose, and what to talk about with your doctors and nurses when you’re discussing your care.

How is Dartmouth-Hitchcock doing in comparison to other hospitals in New England?

Table 1: Quality and Safety Scores in New England for Large Teaching Hospitals

(Higher score is better)

  • Maine Medical Center, ME (60)
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, NH (55)
  • Brigham And Women's Hospital, MA (55)
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, MA (55)
  • University Of Vermont Medical Center, VT (54)
  • Danbury Hospital, CT (52)
  • Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, CT (52)
  • Tufts Medical Center, MA (52)
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital, CT (52)
  • UMass Memorial Medical Center, MA (51)
  • Boston Medical Center, MA (49)
  • Rhode Island Hospital, RI (49)
  • Hartford Hospital, CT (48)
  • Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, MA (46)
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, MA (44)
  • Eastern Maine Medical Center, ME (44)
  • Saint Vincent's Medical Center, CT (39)

This chart shows how Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s (DHMC's) most recent combined quality and safety score compares to the 17 largest teaching hospitals in New England, all of which have more than 300 inpatient beds and handle complicated patient cases.

Why is this information important?

All patients should receive the highest possible quality care. This matters a great deal to Dartmouth-Hitchcock and we think it matters to you, too. Please talk with your doctor and nurse about your care. Ask all of your questions about quality and safety until you understand how it relates to you and your care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

How can I choose a hospital?

In general, when you have the time to choose which hospital to use for your medical condition, there are four things we suggest you pay attention to, to get the best care:

  1. Does the hospital I am considering see an adequate number of patients with my condition?
  2. Does the hospital manage more complex patient cases?
  3. Does the hospital have the best survival rate for my condition?
  4. Does the hospital avoid complications better and have fewer patient re-admissions?

What specific information can I find here?

We are working toward providing condition specific information in the near future.

We do provide information on our patients’ experience at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

What do these quality and safety scores mean?

Across the United States, hospitals are measuring important medical quality, safety and patient experience indicators that were chosen by patients like you. Using the same measurements across the state, region, and country makes it easier for you to compare the care you can get at different hospitals.

The scores created by the federal government and other organizations use publically available quality and safety information. These scores are based on hospitals’ key patient safety standards.

Higher scores mean that a hospital has:

  • Fewer patients going back to the hospital after they are discharged
  • Fewer patients suffering from complications, like infections
  • Fewer problems created by poor communication between physicians or nurses with their patients
  • Fewer extra tests or procedures, like CT scans (X-ray tests combined with computer processing used to find many diseases and conditions)
  • Fewer patient deaths

What are we doing to maintain and improve quality?

One of Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s goals is to be ranked in the top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation based on quality and cost.

Every day at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, a group of nurses, doctors and staff get together for a “safety huddle” to update each other on whether any quality or safety issues have cropped up in the last 24 hours. Corrective action is reported and help is given when needed.

Every week, every month, we review the quality of care we deliver and provide internal reports on our quality and safety information to senior leadership.

How often are you updating this information?

We will update this information regularly and expand it over time. That may be as frequently as four times a year, or every one to two years.

We may also use other data sources, as we expand our content to include more conditions and procedures, and may change the comparison hospitals, depending on what data are available and what makes sense for that particular situation.

If there is something you’d like to see here, please contact This email address is monitored daily.

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