Going to the hospital for care is not something that many of us plan or look forward too, but chances are within your lifetime you will be a hospital patient or visitor of some close family member. Where your not always in the position to say where to go, your situation may have rendered you unconscious, but if you have a choice, where would you go? If you want to be an empowered patient you will have researched this decision also and expressed your desire to loved ones are care providers.
It would be smart to first list the hospital facility accessible to you and your area. Next, you would want to consider if you already have a condition, does the hospital available have the trained staff, advanced equipment and specialty to serve your condition.
Next, determine if your list of hospital choices are limited to the type of insurance you have of the doctor that provides your care. Verify with your doctor what hospital he/she may have :admitting privileges” with. Admitting privileges is simply an agreement between a doctor and a hospital that their patients may be admitted there.
Answering those two questions about insurance and doctor accessibility will leave you with your options. Now consider of the choices you have remaining, what is the hospitals track record? Your state may post a hospital report card through the health department, which shares an hospitals previous patient outcomes and overall track record. The Federal Government maintains a hospital compare website through the Department of Health and Human Services. On this site you have access to patient reviews of their hospital experience.
A few other things to consider about the remaining hospitals on your list:
Is the facility accredited? Does it meet both patient and quality standards?
Is it conveniently located where you or loved ones could be easily visited?
Is the facility overall clean and comfortable feeling?
Will it allow an advocate to stay by your bedside around the clock if desired?
Do they offer private rooms, (if that is an issue for you)?
Also one trend in many hospitals is that they employ there own specialist and proceduralist, these individuals take the place of your doctor while you are in the hospitals care. These individuals are employed by the hospital, and may work to serve there interested, so discuss this with your doctor so you are not alarmed should this occur.
Regardless of where you go be vigilant about your safety and quality of care.