For more than five years, the Association of Health Care Journalists has been updating quarterly the website HospitalInspections.org, where the public can search and review hospital inspection reports.
With this month’s update, the database now includes 30,541 records of hospital inspection results, covering from January 2011 into June 2018. Most of the records include a detailed report on each deficiency found in hospitals.
The site allows searches by keyword, city, state or hospital name. AHCJ uses a file from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to update this information.
AHCJ members can also download the latest data for their own searches and analysis. They also have access to resources and tip sheets about how to best use the data in their reporting.
The website includes the results of government inspections of acute-care hospitals, critical-access (rural) hospitals and psychiatric hospitals resulting from complaints. It does not include reports of deficiencies found at long-term care hospitals, nor does it include the results of routine hospital inspections.
AHCJ launched the site in March 2013 following years of advocacy urging the government to release the deficiency reports in electronic format. Until then, reporters and the public had to file Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with CMS or state agencies to obtain the documents.