5 must follow steps to choose the best hospital smartly

Author: Edward Leigh, MA
1. Identify Hospitals
Though hospital visits are usually unplanned, there are situations when you get to make a choice of the best hospital depending on the treatment that you have to undergo. If you are advised for cataract surgery, begin with the list of all the hospitals that provide eye care. Every hospital may not offer eye care services, and every hospital may not have the best eye surgeons.
2. Doctor or Your Insurance?
Your selection of a hospital depends largely on your choice of doctor or your insurer/payer or both. If you weigh insurance more, then call up the insurer or payer and enquire which all hospitals of your choice are covered. If you have already selected the doctor, then contact him/her to know which all hospitals they have the "admitting privileges".
3. Review the Hospital
Check with your state’s health department if they provide any hospital report card or profiles. If yes, then review the hospitals based on the number of surgical errors and infection rates. The main source for HospitalCompare's opinions and ratings are patient experience surveys issued by Medicare. These reviews are used to assess the quality of care provided by hospitals.
4. Talk to your Doctors
Ask your doctor about his/her role while your stay in the hospital. Make sure whether there is a practice of replacing the patient’s doctor.
5. Safeguard Yourself
Despite the consequences of what hospital you go to, or how long you are made to stay there, safeguard yourself, no matter how good that hospital's track record is. Familiarize yourself with the list of hospital events, and the measures you must follow to protect yourself from infections, drug errors and others.

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