The debate over what is Hospital quality of care has become more intense than ever with the recent scandals in major U.S. medical institutions and the disturbing reports of medical malpractice cases in many of the country’s hospitals. Questions have been asked, concerns have been voiced, and rumors have circulated.
As healthcare providers we have all become interested in ensuring that our healthcare system maintains the highest level of quality possible. Why aren’t things getting better? Why is it that some hospitals are much better than others when it comes to providing high quality healthcare services? What can we, as an informed public, do to ensure that our hospitals provide the best level of healthcare?
Hospital quality is about much more than just the number of days doctors see and the number of operations they perform. That is only one aspect of care that determines whether a hospital is high or low quality. It takes into account, among other things, the staff that works there, the tools they use to provide that care, and the education, training, and facilities provided for the care of their patients.
The sky is the limit
Hospitals should be seen as institutions where patients are first seen and treated. They should strive for quality not just from the moment a patient steps into the lobby and walks through the doors. Everything from the office to the equipment used should be clean, organized, and thoughtfully designed to assist a patient. Everything should be in place, from the food given to patients to the bedside manner in which they are left after treatment. All of these aspects must work in tandem to ensure a patient receives the best possible care.
Underestimating hospital quality of care
So how do you know if your hospital is doing well in these areas? First of all, ask yourself if you, the patient or any member of the medical team, feels comfortable in your medical facility. Can you communicate easily with the other members of your team? How easily would you feel your questions being answered by someone who is knowledgeable about your condition? Do you feel that you are receiving the best level of care possible for the price that you are paying?
Measuring hospital quality
A hospital’s quality can also be measured in several other areas besides how pleasant it’s environment is. For instance, does the hospital meet your needs in terms of service? For instance, if you are having a particular procedure done, does the hospital staff show up on time to help you through every step? Would you feel comfortable leaving the hospital grounds and going home knowing that the services performed at the hospital were top notch? This too can be an indicator of a hospital’s quality: is your level of service equivalent to the cost of service you are paying?
Quality of equipment and utilities
Another area to look at is the types of equipment that is available to a medical facility. This can be a major determinant of how high quality a medical facility is as well. Is the equipment that is used in your hospital consistently reliable? Does it work as it should be? Can you count on it to perform? If the answers to these questions are negative, it is likely that you are not receiving the high quality of care that you deserve or expect.
One way to find out if the hospital you are thinking about offers high quality service is to go to the hospital’s website and read the customer testimonials. Most hospitals will have a page on their website that features a list of customer testimonials.
If the hospital you are thinking of visiting has numerous customer testimonials, then you may want to take that hospital’s opinion into consideration when choosing the facility that will treat you well. Even if the hospital that has the fewest positive testimonials does not offer the best level of service, there is no reason to rule it out because so many people have given their opinions on its service.
Overall quality of care
The medical facility that you choose should have a high level of overall quality. If you are planning to have a child soon, you would like to know that the hospital will be able to provide excellent medical care for him or her. This is especially important if you have a young child who is suffering from a serious medical condition or who is extremely fragile. Quality medical care does not just happen; it must be well-provided.
The level of quality of care you experience during your stay will play a major role in how well your child receives medical attention and how soon he or she is back home recuperating. High quality hospital quality is the only way to ensure that your child receives the best medical care.