Finding the right hospital for your medical needs is a complicated task, especially if you don’t know where to start from. There are a lot of things to sift through and several factors to consider. However, your success largely depends on what strategy you implement in your search. Here are important steps you need to take when choosing a hospital.
Ask Your Doctor
The first step to finding the right hospital is by talking to your primary care physician. Ask him which hospital he thinks can provide the best care for your condition. Let him tell you how well these hospitals check the patients and assist them to recover from their illnesses. After you have gone through all the options, your physician will write you a referral to the hospital he thinks will best take care of your condition.
Check with Your Insurance Provider
Before you choose a hospital, you must check with your insurance provider to determine whether that hospital is covered in your health plan. This will help you avoid scenarios where you are forced to pay for treatment with your own cash. You should also consider whether the hospital you choose is covered under emergency care or whether you have to pay for more to use their facilities. Also, ask the insurance provider whether there are certain requirements you must meet to get care after you leave the hospital.
Compare the Hospitals Based on Your Condition
You must choose a hospital that has the best experience with your condition. You can use the Hospital Compare tool to help you get a suitable hospital. You will find hospitals by name, city, county or state. You can also check the results of patient testimonies and surveys and compare the measures of quality that indicate how each hospital treats certain conditions. However, you must be careful when comparing hospitals based on illness, particularly if you are going for a surgical procedure. A study shows that surgery data generated from different hospitals in the US may not be helpful for comparing hospitals. You should at least consider other factors before you make the final decision.
Go Through Hospital Ratings
There are several nonprofit and governmental organizations that gather and publish hospital ratings and reviews online. You can check these sites to see which hospitals have the best rating and good customer reviews. Sites like Consumer Reports and Hospital Compare will give you full details of hospitals in the US, including their location, business hours, customer reviews and overall rating. You can also check leapfroggroup.org for information on quality and safety of the procedures offered in these hospitals. When examining the data about hospitals, be sure to check the reported rates of infection, re-admissions and deaths. Avoid facilities with high rates of infection and where patients are readmitted as soon as they leave the hospital.
Depending on where you are located, you might have to travel long distances to access treatment. This may be due to lack of facilities or staff in the nearest hospital. However, it is highly recommended you stay in the local hospital to have your friends and family near. Think about what outcome you expect to get from your treatment plan and whether or not you are willing to travel long distance for treatment.
Discuss Your Options With Others
Discuss your hospital options with friends and family members to get their feedback. Chances are that one of them might have had a good or bad experience with one of the hospitals in your list. You can also talk to your doctor or healthcare provider and discuss how the hospital information you gather applies to your condition.
Ask for Recommendations
You should find one or two friends, family members and workmates who have suffered and recovered from a similar condition and ask them for recommendations. Make sure you ask someone you trust and know well. Someone who had a good experience will be more than willing to recommend his or her hospital to you.
Visit at least three hospitals you think meet your search criteria. If you are unable to travel, let one of your close relatives or friends do the visit on your behalf. Check out the hospital and make sure it looks clean and smells nice. Make sure the staff is welcoming and approachable.