The hospital where you receive care is as important as the doctor you choose. This is clearly in evidence in selecting the best hospital in which to deliver a baby. Many times women pick a hospital based on proximity or as dictated by their insurance company. However, where they have their baby can have a big impact on the delivery experience.
In Massachusetts, for example, public radio station WBUR put together a map rating hospitals based on five childbirth quality measures. WBUR reporter, Martha Bebinger, interviewed Dr. Neel Shah, an assistant professor of obstetrics at Harvard Medical School. In Bebinger’s article for Kaiser Health News, Dr. Neel Shah said, “the hospital where women choose to deliver ‘absolutely matters.’ Take C-section rates. In many ways, which hospital you go to is a bigger predictor of whether or not you’re going to get a C-section than your own risk or your own preferences.”1
Other groups are recognizing the importance of hospital selection as well. Every year, WomensChoiceAward.com lists the best hospitals for obstetrics because the group believes hospital selection “can have life-altering consequences” and “can greatly increase health outcomes.”2 Top-ranked hospitals are selected based on clinical performance and patient experience.
Along the same lines, US News and World Report recently expanded its best hospital rankings to include common care (i.e., routine operations like hip replacement and common chronic conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Until 2015, the magazine’s best hospital rankings focused on specialties like orthopedics, cancer, and cardiology, but the editors became curious about how facilities would rank for the “most common procedures and conditions that hospitals encounter.”3
They discovered that “hospitals that treated relatively few patients for a particular diagnosis tended to have higher rates of mortality, readmission, and other complications.”4 Their research clearly indicates that it’s important to know what types of procedures a hospital performs on a regular basis. According to US News, “Volume matters. In the absence of information on outcomes, choose a hospital that treats higher numbers of patients like you.” 4
Patient safety is also a factor that needs to be considered when selecting a hospital. In fact, quality patient care is directly affected by how safe the environment is. Regrettably, many patients don’t realize that their selection of a hospital greatly impacts their risk of harm.
IntelliCentrics leverages its security expertise to help create a safe and environment for over 8,200 facilities nationwide. IntelliCentrics advances patient safety by helping consumers locate facilities through the Know Before You Go feature on our website. Hospital visitors can check in advance if the facilities in their area use IntelliCentrics to protect them.