(Stateline) Hospitals make mistakes, sometimes deadly mistakes. A patient may get the wrong medication or even undergo surgery intended for another person. When errors like these are reported, state and federal officials inspect the hospital in question and file a detailed report.

(Now, for the first time, this vital information on the quality and safety of the nation’s hospitals has been made available to the public online.

(A new website, www.hospitalinspections.org, includes detailed reports of hospital violations dating back to January 2011, searchable by city, state, name of the hospital and key word. Previously, these reports were filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), and released only through a Freedom of Information Act request, an arduous, time-consuming process. Even then, the reports were provided in paper format only, making them cumbersome to analyze.

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