Using Hospital Reviews to Select a Hospital
When someone is sick, they want to be sure that they are getting the best possible care, which means you need to know how to pick the best hospital. In order to be able to do that, you need to use hospital reviews to find the best one.
This may not be possible if it is a life or death situation, but if you have the choice, it’s better to know which hospital in your area will do the best possible job. You can do that through checking out the hospital reviews for the ones in your area.
How to check for the quality of your hospital
If you want to be sure of the quality of your hospital, then try to find out if it is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. This is the one that is best and safe to use.
Hospitals that get the accreditation by JCAHO are certain to have high standards that you can trust. This organization tests the qualities of the staff, equipment, and the hospital’s success in being able to properly treat and cure its patients. These reviews have to be done every three years for hospitals that participate in the JCAHO program. Check JCAHO’s Web site at http://www.jcaho.org to look up your hospital to see if it is covered and accredited.
State Hospital Reviews are also Important
Plus, you want one that the hospital reviews rate highly in the State and that is rated highly by consumer advocates in your area. All hospitals have to report to the state they are in on the quality of the care at their facility. Then, the public can use that data to compare all of the local hospitals.
Local consumer groups are also a good place to go to see hospital reviews that are used to rate the quality of area hospitals. You can find out where the info on your local hospital reviews are posted by calling the health department, health care council, or ask your family doctor for his own rating or knowledge of its hospital reviews.
Plus, you want a hospital where your own family doctor has privileges to practice so you won’t have to use one you aren’t familiar with. And you also will want to go to a hospital that has high reviews for being familiar with and treating whatever the problem or disease you have is. For instance, if you are having a kidney transplant, you would want to be taken to a hospital that the reviews show specializes in this procedure.
What about Hospital Reviews and Quality of Care?
Most hospitals are all for improving their quality of care and a hospital review can show you how well they accomplish this. The review will have information on the amount and treatment rates of various injuries and infections and through the analyzing of these and other factors, the hospital can make improvements on how it does business.
Be sure to look up the hospital reviews on your facility and also be sure to read the patient surveys, as they may be incorporated into the local hospital reviews and will help you to make up your mind if it is the best possible place for you to go to have your condition treated.
Websites that rate care at hospitals and other facilities
Some of the places online where you can look up hospitals or other facilities to check on the care or find other useful information include:
A Patient’s Bill of Rights – Download at http:www.aha.org and go to the Resource center and type in the name of the file.
Hospital ratings through Health Pages Magazine– Some of these can be found at http://www.thehealthpages.com/articles/ar-hosps.html.
Hospital checklist through Pacific Business Group on Health – Go to their website at http://www.healthscope.org/hospitals/default.asp
Healthfinder – You can find useful health data provided by the federal government at their website at http://www.healthfinder.gov
How are hospitals rated and reviewed?
Hospital reviews are based on the experiences of millions of patients, as well as info gathered through surveys on how well the patients rated communication with their doctors, relief from pain, and their overall quality of care they got there. It also rates the patient’s opinions on the outcome of their care at these hospitals and how well the hospital prevented infections or other facts.
One of the places that gather all of these facts and surveys is Consumer Reports Health and you can find it at their website at http://www.ConsumerHealthReports.org. It is in an easy to figure out format that you can trust since it combines info from all over the U.S. all in one spot. It has more than 4,000 hospitals in its ratings and reviews.
However, some smaller area hospitals may not be represented in these particular reviews and you will need to go elsewhere to get info on them. Ratings are updated four times a year, so check back regularly to see if your hospital has been added to the list.
The patients rated hospitals from one to 10 on things like communication, pain control, speed of getting help when they needed it, keeping the facilities clean and sanitary, and other factors.
The main thing to know is that going to the hospital can be something that you want to go well, even if it is not a life threatening experience. If you have the chance to check out a hospital review on the facility of your choice, then you will be able to have more confidence in getting the best possible care.