The Association of Health Care Journalists has launched a new site allowing any member of the public to conduct a search for certain federal inspection reports related to acute-care and critical access hospitals since January 1, 2011. This is, of course, a welcome development in terms of access to this data which was formerly accessible only by submitting a FOIA to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
As with any data-set, there are limitations (all nicely summarized on the AHCJ site) and exclusions (again, all nicely summarized on the AHCJ site.)
When you are on the AHCJ site, also follow this link to get a linked list of which states publish their hospital inspection reports electronically.
There were multiple media stories on this site but this one from the Pew Charitable Trusts Stateline Service did a wonderful job covering the story and is worth a read.