The quality of the health care you receive depends on many things. The skill of your surgeon is a key factor. But there are many health care providers at a hospital that will be involved in your care. The work of all hospital staff affects your safety and the quality of your care.
There are many ways a hospital can improve the quality of care you receive. Things to look for include:
Also, find out how many surgeries like yours have been done at the hospital. Patients often do better when having surgery at a hospital that does more of the type of procedure they are planning.
If you are having a surgery that involves newer techniques, find out how many of these procedures your hospital has already done.
Hospitals need to report events called "quality measures." These reports list things that can affect patient care. Common quality measures include:
Hospitals receive scores for their quality. These scores can give you an idea of how your hospital compares to other hospitals.
Check to see if your hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission, a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the quality and safety of health care.
State agencies, consumer, and other groups also rate hospital quality. Look for hospital ratings from the following:
To get the best quality of care, you need to find a doctor that is right for your needs. Find out about your doctor's skills, knowledge, and quality of care.
Make sure your doctor is board certified.
Many surgeries are very technical. Look at your doctor's experience with the surgery you are having.
NCQA, Consumers page. National Committee for Quality Assurance Web site. http://www.ncqa.org/Consumers.aspx. Accessed July 7, 2014.
Accreditation/Certification Fact Sheets. The Joint Commission Web site. http://www.jointcommission.org/about_us/accreditation_fact_sheets.aspx. Accessed July 7, 2014.
Updated by: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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