Creepy infographics using open data

I was poking around an open dataset site for my latest blog post for California Forward. Of course, when I saw this set, I had to click on it: “Foreign objects left in the body.” It’s practically a requirement.

And, of course, what does a data person do but think to make an infographic out of it? Luckily, Socrata has tools for creating graphs, ready for embedding. So, take a look at the results…if you’re looking into going to hospital in L.A. County soon. Hover over each dot to see the hospital name and the rate per 1,000 discharges when something was left behind.

Los Angeles County Foreign Objects Left in Body

Now, I know this is a serious issue. But the next obvious thing to do is to look for a list of things that have been left inside. Unfortunately, no Junior Mints or anything funny at all were mentioned.

*Hospital-acquired conditions data on 3,361 US hospitals, released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in April 2011. Data based on Medicare claims; covers patients who were discharged from the hospital between October 1, 2008 and June 30, 2010. Formatted and presented by the Sunlight Foundation.


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