Crises don’t come with prior notice— a health emergency is no different. And when you are faced with a health emergency, you often don’t have time to search for the best hospitals or compare their services. Therefore, it is better to plan ahead, research, and know the options you can consider during an emergency.
If you know which hospital to approach in case of an emergency in advance, you can save your and your family’s health. On the contrary, if a hospital is unsuitable or provides low-quality service, you are more prone to becoming prey to medical errors, which according to a Johns Hopkins study, is the third-leading cause of death in the US.
Choosing the right hospital after looking at various important factors can improve your chances of getting high-quality service. Even if you don’t need medical assistance immediately, having a hospital’s contact on speed dial always helps.
Don’t know how to select the right hospital? Fret not! Below we list all the factors that can be considered when choosing a hospital.
Are patients allowed to meet hospital management?
Firstly, you need to consider the management of the hospital. This factor is important because you will communicate with various administration members during a probable hospital stay.
Worldwide, hospital executives develop strategies to improve hospital services and make their hospitals successful. The more responsive the hospital’s management is, the easier it gets to receive services. So, approachable hospital management means your chances of getting better service increase considerably.
Try to meet the hospital CEO— the person responsible for managing the hospital’s daily operations. If the hospital doesn’t let you meet them, it means you can only deal with the frontline management staff. But the issue is that they are not always helpful in solving critical patient problems.
Dealing with rude and unresponsive hospital management is nothing less than a headache. So you will be better off avoiding them.
Do they have services required by you?
There is no point in approaching a hospital if they don’t have the services you require. Even if you go there, the management will do nothing more than refer you to another hospital. So it is better to access the hospital where you can get the required services.
For instance, if you frequently experience a kidney-related medical emergency, you should know about a kidney hospital. A general hospital may not have the doctors or technology to help patients with kidney problems.
Similarly, if you require surgery due to an accident or any other reason, a small hospital might not be equipped with facilities to perform surgical procedures. And you will be forced to rush to a big hospital at the eleventh hour.
Is the hospital on your insurance company’s panel?
In most cases, healthcare services are not cheap. This is why people buy medical insurance— to pay for costly healthcare services. But a medical insurance company doesn’t have all the hospitals on its panel.
It is probable that the hospital you are approaching is not on your insurance company’s panel. In that case, mounting hospital bills can deplete your savings and hurt your monthly budget. Therefore, it is essential to approach only those hospitals that your insurance provider covers. Even if your insurance policy does not pay the entire hospital bill, partial coverage will also help.
Is the hospital near your house?
The location of the hospital is an important factor you should always consider. Your priority should be to choose a hospital that is near your house or at least in your community. When your chosen hospital is not far from home, you can access it easily, even in the middle of the night.
Also, approaching a nearby hospital helps a lot when your medical emergency doesn’t give you enough time to go to any faraway hospital.
Ask someone to recommend good hospitals in your locality. Anyone who has been to a particular hospital and stayed there for a few days will give you a better suggestion. You can also search the internet by browsing “hospitals near me” to get a few options to consider before deciding on one.
Does the hospital have your preferred doctor?
It is very likely for the patients to get comfortable with their doctor. Developing an understanding and rapport with the doctors improves the quality of care. You can discuss your problem more openly and expect to get personalized care. Therefore, choose a hospital if your preferred doctor works there. When you know a doctor in the hospital, they can also help you get better overall service from nurses and other hospital staff.
Does the hospital staff communicate effectively?
A hospital must communicate with you at every step when making or changing treatment plans. You must know about your lab test result, diagnosis, treatment options, and what actions will be taken for your betterment. Also, you must know how long you will stay in the hospital and the cost of your treatment.
The hospital staff must communicate with you about your health not just when you are in the hospital under treatment but also when you are discharged.
If the hospital you are considering is not open and efficient in communicating with you and your family, you might feel clueless about what is happening to you. Hence, it is not a good idea to go with them.
Are previous patients happy?
A surefire way to gauge the services and quality of care a hospital provides is by reviewing older patients’ evaluations. A well-managed and up-to-date hospital website may give you the impression that it is the best hospital in town. But sometimes, websites are nothing more than optics; the reality is quite different.
You will know about the reality of the hospital by reading reviews of previous patients. Search the social media profiles of the hospital under consideration. You will find both disgruntled and happy patients pouring their hearts out in the comment section.
Another way to know about the patient experience is to visit the prospective hospitals and talk to the patients and families already getting the services. If they are not happy, you will recognize their concerns instantaneously.
Does the hospital have a quick response time?
The speed of a hospital and its staff’s response is also an important parameter for judging a hospital. Patients coming to the hospital with severe health conditions should not be made to wait for hours.
The right hospital can segregate patients based on urgency and provide them with timely care. Such a hospital has more happy patients praising everything about it.
Staff shortage is also a factor that can delay the response. So, if you want to get speedy care and don’t want to wait, go for a hospital with enough staff.
Choosing the right hospital is central to getting on-time and par excellence services. If the hospital you approach is unsuitable, you will not be satisfied with its services. Therefore, consider the above-mentioned important factors and ask questions before deciding about a hospital.