By Joe Carlson
The burning in his chest and aching in his arm told Charles, a resident of Kernersville, N.C., that he had to go to the hospital.
But which hospital? Rather than check published data comparing hospital quality and costs, the computer analyst did what many Americans do. He said he chose a hospital based on a recommendation from someone he knew—in this case, his daughter, who previously had received good care at Forsyth Medical Center in nearby Winston-Salem.