Posted by Bill Sandweg on 19 December 2013.
I have written often about the importance of being an informed consumer of medical treatment. As we become more connected, more and more information becomes available to consumers to identify doctors with questionable histories and hospitals with less than stellar results. Today I want to let you know about a tool that every person who is going to a hospital will want to look at. I suggest you look at it now for your local hospitals since you won’t have time to consult it in the event of an emergency.
The tool is provided by Medicare. Here is the link: http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1 The site allows consumers to find a hospital and then see how the hospital does in comparison with others in treating things such as heart attacks, strokes, medical emergencies, pneumonia, and pregnancy and delivery as well as some other areas. The site also contains a summary of patient surveys about the care they received at the hospital. Medicare is also reporting on those hospitals doing hip and knee replacements and which get the best and worst results.
This is an invaluable tool for identifying the good hospitals and the not-so-good hospitals in your area. While going to a good hospital is no guarantee that you won’t be mistreated, going to a not-so-good hospital certainly increases the chances that you will be mistreated. Good hospitals often insist that the doctors who practice there have good records and practice good medicine. They also usually train their staff better and make sure the staff meets expectations.
As I have said over and over, be an informed consumer and there is less chance you will have to call me and tell me a horror story about what went wrong when you went to the hospital.