Hospitals have an unexpressed and unspoken contract with patients and families that they will do everything possible to save a life. Patients and their families depend on hospitals, emotionally and mentally, to be their best when it is needed the most.
Emergency midnight trips to the ER, scheduling a complex surgery, and opting for a second opinion from a specialist are all big decisions. And, if you don’t know which hospital to rush to when it’s a matter of life and death, it can be downright scary.
Assessing the best hospital for your needs can be complicated. There are too many variables to account for. But, if you keep a few key things in mind while you are doing your research, it will make the process less daunting.
Good management is critical for any hospital. After all, the staff is taking care of people’s lives. Patients usually interact with the hospital administration indirectly. But it is still essential to know who is running the show behind the scenes.
One way to get an idea of how the hospital is run is to look at the staff turnover rate. A high turnover rate might indicate that the hospital is not a good place to work. And that can harm the quality of care. So, a robust healthcare administration is directly proportional to the quality of care a hospital can provide.
Location of the Hospital:
Location is specifically important when choosing a hospital. If you live in a remote area, you might not have much choice. But, if you have a few options to choose from, think about which one would be most convenient for you.
If you have infants or toddlers at home, you might want to pick a hospital closer to your residence. It will allow you to be close to your kids when needed.
Similarly, cases like pregnancy may also require you to stay close to the hospital for a few days. You never know when you go into labor or when the water bag bursts. In such a scenario, picking a hospital near your home or workplace would be ideal.
Size of the Hospital:
Some people feel more comfortable in a smaller hospital because it feels more intimate and personal. Smaller hospitals may have fewer patients, and the patient may feel more like a person instead of a number.
On the other hand, some people prefer big hospitals because they have more resources. Large-scale hospitals have more staff, which can be beneficial if you need a lot of tests or treatments. It also means there will be someone on duty to attend to your needs 24/hours a day.
Think about what you prefer, and then do some research on the hospitals in your area to see what they offer.
The Reputation of the Hospital:
Patient experience is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a hospital. After all, you are entrusting your life to them. You hold all rights to be certain that you are in good hands.
One way to get an idea of the quality of care is to look at the hospital’s mortality rate. It is the number of patients who die while in the hospital. If the mortality rate is high, it might indicate that the hospital is not doing a good job.
You can also look at the hospital’s readmission rate. That is the number of patients who have to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. A high readmission rate indicates that the hospital is not providing quality care.
Another factor to consider is the hospital’s accreditation. Organizations like the Joint Commission usually accredit hospitals. If a hospital is accredited, it means they meet specific quality standards.
The Cost of the Hospital:
Hospitals can be expensive. From doctor’s fees to the cost of tests and treatments, it can quickly add up. So, you want to make sure you are getting your money’s worth.
If you have insurance, find out which hospitals your plan covers. Most health insurances have a list of hospitals and diseases they cover.
However, if you don’t have insurance, or if your insurance doesn’t cover the hospital you want to go to, then you will need to pay for it yourself. Whether it’s the room, the food, or the tests, you will need to factor in the cost when making your decision.
You should also find out if the hospital has any financial assistance programs. Some hospitals have programs like sliding scale fees. That means they will charge you based on your income.
Most people have a misconception that all hospitals offer the same services. However, that is not the case. Each hospital has its specialties.
Some hospitals might be better equipped to deal with certain diseases. Others might have more experience with certain procedures.
When choosing a hospital, you must consider the services they offer. For instance, you can’t expect an ENT hospital to have the same benefits as a maternity hospital.
If your condition demands a specific treatment plan, ensure that the hospital you choose has experience in that area. This information is usually available on the hospital’s website. It’s also a good idea to call and ask if you have any questions.
Latest Technology and Hi-Tech Labs:
Have you ever been redirected to another hospital because the one from which you were currently getting treatment wasn’t equipped to handle your case?
It’s a common occurrence, especially in small hospitals. They simply don’t have the latest technology or hi-tech labs. High technology medical equipment refers to the electronic, computer-based, and robotic equipment used in hospitals.
Some examples of hi-tech medical equipment are MRI machines, CT scanners, and PET scans. These machines are costly, and not all hospitals can afford them.
Before selecting a hospital, find out if they have the latest technology. You don’t want to be transferred to another hospital in the middle of your treatment.
Hospitals are not just for medical care. They also offer a variety of amenities that can make your stay more comfortable. While you may feel, what do you need amenities for when you are sick? Trust us; they can make a big difference.
Some hospitals have private rooms, restaurants, gift shops, and book stores. If you will be staying in the hospital for a while, it’s essential to make sure you feel comfortable.
Your healthcare provider’s recommendation can impact your decision on which hospital to choose. They understand your medical needs and can help you make the best decision. Therefore, before you decide based on the factors mentioned above, always consult your healthcare provider.
Selecting a hospital is the first stepping stone to getting the best medical treatment. The process can be daunting, but if you take your time and consider all the factors, you will be right where you need to be – on the path to recovery.