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Survey Reveals Mediocre Hospital Ratings

An analysis reported in the Oct. 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine describes a national survey — the first of its kind — that reveals rather mediocre ratings of many U.S. hospitals by patients. The survey was designed to:   

1. Give healthcare consumers some tools for choosing the best medical care providers and  

2.  Help healthcare administrators establish appropriate hospital policies.  

Eight Areas of Patients' Perceptions about Hospitals 

The survey, named the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), was performed in approximately 60 percent of all U.S. hospitals operating between July 2006 and June 2007. The survey asked patients of the hospitals 27 questions about eight areas of their perceptions regarding their treatment at the hospital:  

  • pain control
  • communication with doctors
  • communication with nurses
  • the quality of nursing services
  • communication about medications
  • information received when leaving the hospital
  • whether the hospital rooms were clean and quiet 

See the Hospital Ratings Online

The results of the survey are public and can be accessed online at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Web site, where consumers can view the ratings of hospitals on several performance measures. So far, only about 60 percent of the hospitals surveyed have provided their results, but the survey data are expected to be complete sometime in 2009.  

Wide Range of Patients' Satisfaction

Patients in the Midwest and the South gave scores indicating higher satisfaction with their hospitals compared to the rest of the U.S. Of the 40 largest hospital-referral regions in the U.S., the best-scoring region was Birmingham, Alabama, with nearly 72 percent of the patient respondents giving their hospitals a score of nine or 10 out of 10. The worst-scoring region was East Long Island, New York, at just under 50 percent. 

(Source: TIME) 

If you're concerned about the medical care you or your family member received at a hospital, contact us to schedule a private consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in your area. Our attorneys serve as tireless advocates for those who have experienced medical negligence.


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