When you need care for a health condition, it’s not always easy knowing where to go for the best care. How do you learn about doctors who are recognized for treating your disease or condition, or hospitals that specialize in the specific procedure you need? One way to compare hospitals is to look at the quality of care provided.
For example, suppose you need to have your gall bladder removed.
- How does your hospital compare in terms of actual outcomes for patients who have undergone this same procedure?
- How do other hospitals in your area compare, or for that matter, how do hospitals across the country compare?
- Do you know?
Third-party reviewers have been helping healthcare consumers to make more informed decisions about their care for years by publishing quality data on an annual basis. Healthgrades is one such company that has grown in popularity. It measures hospital quality solely on clinical outcomes for 26 specific conditions and procedures such as gall bladder removal surgery, stroke care, coronary bypass surgery, treatment of pneumonia, and bariatric surgery, to name a few.
Analysis is based on more than 45 million Medicare medical claims records for the most recent three-year period available from hospitals nationwide. That’s a whole lot of data that translates into relevant information for people looking for the best care.
The fact is that no one is willing to sacrifice quality when it comes to their own health or the health of a loved one. While having quality ratings at your fingertips is a powerful tool that can help you make healthcare decisions, keep in mind that it’s a starting place. It certainly doesn’t replace doing your own research and speaking directly with your doctor. After all, it’s your health we’re talking about.