This week, Consumer Reports released an iPhone/iPad app aimed squarely at healthcare consumer — Hospital Ratings. It’s a relatively cheap app, $2.99, and enables patients to compare hospitals around them, and to look up detailed reports on those particular hospitals.

The app gives four key areas of information about hospitals: Overall patient experience, Blood stream infections, Surgical Site Infections, and Readmission rate. Then, you are able dive into full reports of each hospital, and get a plethora of detailed information, such as the exact number of blood stream infections in the ICU, and how the hospital stacks up to the national average.

Although much of this information is available online, Consumer Reports condenses it into an easy to absorb package. Having the brand name of Consumer Reports behind the app only bolsters the validity of the data behind the reports. Within the app Consumer Reports also offers Survival Guides, tell you what types of questions to ask — even full videos of how to determine the best hospital for you.

In the above example, I compared two of the main hospital systems in the area I was raised (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill): The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University Systems — both are fantastic hospitals with stellar reputations nationally and globally.

After you have compared the two hospitals, you are able to view individual reports on each. I choose another hospital in the area, Rex Healthcare, and looked at a detailed report on the hospital:

There is an area where ratings are explained:

The following are screen shots of the “Advice” section of the app — containing great tutorials on how to choose a hospital, with short video clips giving aid as well:

Overall, this is a great application that takes complicated data and condenses it down to an easy to use format for patients. Patient’s don’t have to go through a magazine, or make haphazard searches on the internet, rather, they can find a great deal of content all within this app — easy to use, and presented in a simple fashion.

iTunes: Consumer Reports Hospital Ratings