The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has introduced free software to aid states, hospitals and other organizations in complying, analyzing and posting data on the quality and cost of hospital care.

The software is called MONAHRQ, or My Own Network Powered by AHRQ. It enables creation of a customized Web site populated with data that can be used for internal quality improvement purposes or to report quality data to the public.

Several states tested the software during development and found the Web sites can be created in a few days, according to AHRQ.

The software is downloadable at Users then can enter hospital administrative data such as patient characteristics, diagnoses, procedures, type of insurance and charges. The software processes the information and creates a Web site that users can customize with color schemes, logos and other features.

Sites created using MONAHRQ, according to the agency, can provide such information as: hospitals with the lowest mortality rates after certain surgeries, hospitals performing the largest number of specific surgeries, and counties with the highest rates of diseases such as uncontrolled diabetes or lung cancer.

--Joseph Goedert


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