Until recently, patients looking for medical care had little reason to choose one hospital over another. Distance was likely the number one factor in deciding where to go for care. The medical field is not well known for sharing information about its safety record or results.
New and better information
Things have started to change, thanks to substantial pressure from the outside. There is more information than there once was concerning the quality of care provided at various facilities. More and more headlines are made about this hospital or that one receiving a failing grade. Unfortunately, the systems used to grade hospitals have shown quite a bit of discrepancy. Hospitals can be considered excellent, mediocre and bad all at once, if you accept every grading system at face value.
Where to look
A patient looking for the best hospital has several options. In some cases, all publicly available metrics reach a similar conclusion about a health care facility. If a hospital receives universally bad reviews, it is safe to say that patients should steer clear if possible. Likewise, if a hospital consistently achieves top marks, that is probably a good choice. Medical malpractice can occur at any hospital, but your odds are better at a facility that places an emphasis on patient safety.
Recent research also indicates that there is a connection between patient satisfaction scores and hospital quality. When patients are treated well in terms of respect and attention, the facilities involved tend to have better statistics regarding mortality and readmission rates.
Medical malpractice is often a team effort
While there are situations where a single negligent individual causes harm to patients, malpractice is just as often the result of a series of mistakes. Hospitals that are careless in their hiring, lax about their procedures, or unresponsive to patient complaints put people at risk. It is important to choose the right facility to give yourself the best chance at a successful treatment.