It seems to me that every few months some publication comes out with its “Top 10” list for something…restaurants, doctors, lawyers, hotels, beaches, etc. I guess we should take such articles with a grain of salt.
My local hospital, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, is quick to promote the results of surveys which give it high marks for providing good medical care. The U.S. News & World Report has rated it the 4th best hospital in Virginia. I am okay with such self-promotion but they should also address those surveys which provide less desirable scores and evaluations.
Take The Leapfrog Group whose mission statement is to “trigger giant leaps forward in the safety, quality and affordability of healthcare.” The Leapfrog Group is a voluntary program aimed at mobilizing employer purchasing power to alert America’s health industry that big leaps in healthcare safety, quality and customer value will be recognized and rewarded.
The Leapfrog Hospital Survey compares hospitals’ performance on the national standards of safety, quality, and efficiency. The survey is the only nationally standardized and endorsed set of measures that captures hospital performance in patient safety, quality and resource utilization. Hospitals that participate in the Leapfrog Hospital Survey achieve hospital-wide improvements that translate into millions of lives and dollars saved. Leapfrog’s purchaser members use Survey results to inform their employees and purchasing strategies. In 2013, 1437 hospitals across the country completed The Leapfrog Hospital Survey.
The latest Leapfrog Hospital Survey (2014) was not kind to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and gave it a “C” grade for Hospital Safety. The grade appears to be the result of low scores in the areas of reducing hospital acquired pressure sores and infections, as well as managing serious errors.
My Take: Most patients should, and do, select a hospital based upon the reputation of a particular doctor or department within the hospital. However, if you are choosing a hospital without relying upon a specially skilled doctor or department, you better read all of the hospital surveys if you want to be truly informed.