Not All Hospitals Are Created Equal!
Many people don’t understand that not all hospitals are created equal. Healthcare shopping and consumerism is important, especially when looking at where you will be getting care.
Hospital differ in many ways, including the specialties that are available, different physician staff, acceptable nursing to patient ratios, electronic medical records, and even cafeteria hours!
But most importantly, they can vary in patient safety grades. According to the Chicago Tribune, 5 Chicago hospitals earned a “D” for patient safety. The concept that patients could be harmed while receiving medical care has been known for thousands of years, but many patients don’t realize this.
Safety Grades matter!
Patient safety describes patient harm that arises as a result of medical care, rather than from the underlying disease.
Factors affecting Patient Safety
Cleanliness -Is equipment adequately disinfected? Are physicians and staff washing hands. A recent article in the Houston Chronicle talks about a 203 page deficiency report from CHI Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston. State health department inspectors found intra-vaginal ultrasound probes that weren’t disinfected appropriately, staff not following dialysis procedures, and poor sanitation leading to increased infections.
Medication Safety - these are errors in administering medications that lead to adverse events. Do the nurses check drug allergies? Do they scan the medication and the patient’s ID badge prior to administering the medication? Is there a protocol in place so the wrong medicine won’t be given to the wrong patient? These checks and balances ensure that patients are given the right blood products, medicines, and have the correct procedures done on the correct body parts.
Inpatient care quality- these refer to differing quality metrics that might affect patient care.
Nursing staffing ratios- How many patients does one nurse takes care of or is responsible for? At some hospitals there is one nurse to every 2, 3, and even all the way up to 15 patients!
Antibiotic stewardship practices- Are correct antibiotics being chosen for bacterial infections?
How often do Near Events or “close calls” actually happen?
Is CT radiation dose reduced when appropriate?
As you can see, patient safety is something that needs to be evaluated and assessed in great detail. So how can you find out which hospital has the best patient safety scores?
MediBookr can help!
We have analyzed and scrutinized extensive data to compile quality scores for different hospitals. We look at not only patient safety but other important quality factors such as mortality rates, complication rates, and so much more.
To find out how your hospital fared or to find best value providers, contact us at email@example.com or log into our app.
-Dr. Ronnie Shalev is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician and Chief Medical Officer at MediBookr