Understanding the hospital data

As part of the launch of our new health site, we've profiled 18 of the hospitals that care for our region.

These profile pages (check out an example here) are reported by Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly.com staff, including brief "biographies" of the hospital. There's also a spot for the hospital's own information, including each hospital's YouTube channel and the ability to follow it on Twitter and like it on Facebook. And we've included recent headlines from The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and our partner, HealthDay.

One of the most interesting sections is a statistical snapshot that shows some facets of how well each hospital cares for patients. Called "Vital Statistics," these indicators of patient care were chosen by the health editors of the Inquirer. They are pulled from federal Medicare records. (Some hospitals were not included because they had too few patients or because their patients were too young to be surveyed.)

We plan to add more hospital profiles each week. Please come back often to check out the new ones. If you'd like to recommend one for inclusion, e-mail us at hospitals@philly.com.