Consumer Guide to Health Care
Finding and Choosing a Hospital
Disclaimer: All external hyperlinks are provided for
your information and for the benefit of the general public. The
Department of Health Services does not testify to, sponsor,
or endorse the accuracy of the information provided on externally linked
What is a Hospital?
A Hospital is a place that provides 24-hour nursing/medical care to
diagnose and treat short-term illnesses and/or injuries. A rural acute
care facility that provides 24-hour emergency services, acute inpatient
and swing-bed care is called a Critical Access Hospital. At a
Critical Access Hospital, on average individuals have an inpatient stay
of up to 96 hours. A Swing Bed Hospital is a hospital that provides
swing-bed care by having beds that are able to provide Nursing Home
Hospitals are regulated under
Wisconsin Administrative Code,
Chapter DHS 124 (exit DHS).
Learn more about the Department's role in regulating Hospitals.
and Other Health Services Providers Survey Guide (PDF,
Looking for a hospital?
This application from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services allows you to search for
Wisconsin hospitals by location within the state.
a federal hospital database (exit DHS): This
hospital compare database, from the federal Centers
for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), provides information about
hospitals and their compliance with Medicare and Medicaid regulations and
Search a database: This database, published
by American Hospital Directory, Inc., provides
online data for more than 6,000 hospitals. The information includes data from the American Hospital
Association and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Hospitals Directory (PDF, 109 KB)
Swing Bed Hospital Directory
(PDF, 35 KB)
Guides to help you choose a hospital
Hospital Compare, from CMS, provides
information on the quality of care provided at hospitals in states and territories
throughout the country. The site also includes a
hospital checklist to help you choose a hospital.
Check is a service offered by the Joint Commission, a nonprofit organization that evaluates
health care quality and safety. Look up a
hospital by name or location.
Leapfrog Group Hospital Survey: Reports from hospitals on
progress they have made toward meeting
four safety standards established by the
Leapfrog Group, a coalition of public and private organizations that
purchase health care benefits for their employees.
Complaints Regarding Wisconsin Health and Residential
The Department of Health Services Division of Quality Assurance is responsible for
assuring the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of
any individual believes that a caregiver, agency, or Department regulated facility has violated State or Federal laws
pertaining to regulated entities, that individual has the right to
file a complaint.
Wisconsin Client Rights: Anyone who is receiving services for
mental illness, a developmental disability, or substance abuse in
the state of Wisconsin has specific rights under Wisconsin Statute
51 (State Alcohol, Drug Abuse, Developmental Disability and Mental
51.61 and 51.30. (exit DHS) (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Advance Directives: An advance directive describes, in writing, your
choices about the treatments you want or do not want or about how health
care decisions should be made for you if you become incapacitated and
cannot express your wishes.
September 12, 2014