To compare the performance of your neighborhood hospital with that of others, go to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website: hospitalcompare.hhs.gov.
The National Report Card on the State of Emergency Medicine rates state support for emergency patients. You can find out how your state did in five categories (access to emergency care; medical-liability environment; quality and patient-safety environment; public health and injury prevention; and disaster preparedness) at emreportcard.org.
An advance directive is a legal document that functions as a combined durable power of attorney for health care and a living will, and it can be amended at any time. Fill out one for yourself, and ask an elderly parent to do the same at aafp.org/afp/990201ap/617.html.