Healthcare organisations are in the midst of a transition period. From regulatory uncertainty, the AI, machine learning, new treatment technologies and a constantly evolving relationship between patient and medical provider, the is no shortage of forces at play shaping the medical industry.
With hospitals at the forefront of this change, finding the right hospital and knowing what characteristics make a hospital great is no easy feat. These are the five qualities and the signs to look for in a truly great hospital.
The Hospital is JCAHO Accredited
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare (JCAHO) carries out hospital reviews every three years. It gives hospitals that meet its standards in the quality of care, equipment available and treatment success an accreditation.
There are six different accreditation levels. The lowest is “Not Accredited” and the highest is “Accredited with Commendation”. You can find a hospital’s performance record on the JCAHO website.
Find out if the hospital provides coordinated care, meaning that the treatment extends beyond the hospital stay. The very best hospitals have standardized care paths for treatment for both inpatients and outpatients, including rehabilitative care following the patient’s discharge. Ask questions to find out if the hospital has a coordinated, comprehensive approach to treatment.
Does the Hospital Have Experience with Your Condition?
Part of finding the right hospital for your means finding a hospital with extensive experience treating patients with your condition. Hospitals which are the best for gallbladder surgery, for example, may not be the best at treating leukemia. Find a hospital with a proven track record at treating patients with your condition for access to the very best treatment.
The Hospital Has a Quality Management Department
You want a hospital that is always striving to improve. Ask to speak to the quality management department and find out how the hospital keeps track of injury and infection that occurs on the hospital premises and what measures they are taking to improve their quality of service. You can also ask for the results of any patient satisfaction surveys the hospital has carried out. If they tell you they haven’t carried out any surveys, be suspicious. They either don’t want to share the results or they aren’t interested in their patient satisfaction. Either way, it is a damning statement.
The Hospital Practices Patient-Centric Care
You want the hospital to treat you as a person, not just a customer. A patient-centered approach will deliver the highest quality of service. This could manifest itself as transparency over costs, a strong reputation for its standard of care, good staff to patient ratio and the quality and comfort of the room furnishings. There are many signs of a patient-centric approach to looking out for.
Sometimes, the only way to access the best hospitals in your area is through a doctor affiliated with the hospital. It is worth considering this option, depending on your specific health needs. At times, the benefits of a good hospital will outweigh the benefits a good doctor can give you.