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Quality Health Care—What Is It and How Can You Get It?

Imagine going into the hospital or medical clinic for a routine procedure and ending up sicker. Think that can’t happen to you?  While millions of Oregonians and others nationwide receive high-quality health care that helps maintain or restore their health every day, far too many do not.  

Recent reports from the Institute of Medicine and in the New England Journal of Medicine show that just over half (54.9 percent) of patients receive the care they need. Other estimates indicate that up to 100,000 patients die in hospitals each year because of preventable medical errors.

How can you receive quality health care and stay safe?  

Join AARP Oregon, the Oregon Health Care Quality Corp and doctors for a free telephone town hall “Quality Health Care – What Is It and How Can You Get It?”

Get the latest health care quality information and learn about a new web site designed to help you make informed decisions about your health and health care.  You’ll also have the opportunity to ask your questions of the experts - from what are questions you should ask your doctor and how do you know you're getting good care, to where can you go for trustworthy information.

WHEN:     Wednesday, March 31        6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
WHERE:     By phone – in the comfort of your home or wherever you may be! Just sign up here to have AARP call you directly.  Please note: you must provide your telephone number.
        *Please note: this information is kept confidential and will never be sold.

If you can’t participate in the town hall, you can:

1)    Contact AARP at and ask for informational materials to be sent to you for free. Please make sure to give your complete name, full mailing address and indicate “HC Quality Info” in the subject line.

2)    Learn more by visiting a new Oregon website – – sponsored by the Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation.

The website has two major components: tips about how to get quality health care and a comparison of how Oregon hospitals and now primary care clinics (as of Feb. 25, 2010) rate on several common medical procedures and patient experience.  

“We know that there is a lot of information available about health care quality, but that doesn’t mean people understand it” said Nancy Clarke, executive director of the Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation. “We wanted to create a Web site where information is easy to find, easy to understand and trustworthy.”

According to AARP Oregon State Director Jerry Cohen, “We’ve been working with our Oregon partners for several years to help launch this new site and make sure it is useful for our members and Oregonians of all ages. It provides easy-to-understand information so patients can be more informed and involved in their health care.”

The site will be continually updated with more tips and tools to encourage consumers to use the site as their first stop in receiving quality care.

Patients should be active participants in their care, says Dr. David Nardone, an AARP Oregon volunteer who spent more than two decades as a clinical director of the VA Medical Center in Portland.  

“Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask questions (about your health care),” Nardone said. “No doctor or nurse should ever be offended — and if they are, it may be time to find a new one.”

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