Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why try to judge a hospital in first place?

There is always a lot of palaver about judging the quality of care in hospitals—but your health plan probably sends you to one or maybe gives you a choice of two—so how does this help you?

Over the years, with myself, Mom, and my sister, we pretty much fear hospitals—the mean people you run across, the offhand care, the doctors who don’t know you or seem to want to know you, the infections, the noise, the oopsies…ACK!

I was hospitalized once with severe lung problems (could not breathe)—they said it was asthma. It wasn’t, but the nurse who took care of me sort of called for a vaporizer as I gasped desperately and said, “This is what I do for my son.” A hospital does not have other things? Oh, well—I lived.

My mother was put in physical restraints once when we went home from the hospital--another time she drugged up with Ativan--we also had to hire an outside nurse--they got sick of taking her to the bathroom--she had a bladder infection, she had to go!

In USA Today, Steve Sternberg and Christopher Schnaars says patients can’t judge anyhow. They found 120 hospitals given top marks by the sick that were actually death traps.

That Donald Berwick guy, who always knows better than anyone, says it’s important to remember how ignorant patients are.

Some scientists looked at Medicare data for 4,600 hospitals and found that 323 had above average death rates from heat attack, heart failure and pneumonia.

Yet, patients often thought they were okay.

It’s not a good idea, one doc said, to base your hospital choice on what a buddy says or even a doctor.

Yeah—the insurance co will decide anyhow, in many cases.

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