Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness, Uncategorized

What Grade Did Your Hospital Receive?

According to HealthGrades the death rate at top ranked hospitals is 70% lower than those at poorly ranked hospitals.  Did you hear me….70%.  Are you willing to be at risk if your hospital isn’t at the top of its game?  Can we as consumers begin a backlash against hospitals that aren’t making the grade?  I don’t know about you but I’d be willing to travel many miles to insure that I had a greater chance at living following a hospital stay.

Unfortunately geography seems to play a role in the standings.  Are you in a desirable geographic location for survival or should you start praying now?  If you live in the East North Central region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin) you’re in luck.  Your region had the lowest overall risk-adjusted death rates.  Unfortunately if you live in the East South Central region (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee) then you may need more than medical talent to come out of the hospital still breathing.  Of course I’m exaggerating a bit, but why are such discrepancies even tolerated in our country.  Could it be that money is at the root of all of this?  Do you think that healthcare for those of us with a chronic or life-threatening illness should take this into account when selecting elected officials on November 4th?

According to the article “…that if all U.S. hospitals performed at the level of top-rated five-star hospitals, 237,420 Medicare patient deaths could potentially have been prevented from 2005-2007”  What if your loved one could have been one of the more than 200,000 potential people saved by better care?  Did I get your attention now?

Dr. Samantha Collier, chief medical officer of HealthGrades said “Until then (the time when all hospitals are at the top of their game), it is imperative that anyone seeking medical care at a hospital do their homework and know the hospital’s quality rating before they check in”.  Her word “imperative” should catch your attention.  This is not a suggestion, it’s a marching order.  She’s telling you, yes a doctor is giving you inside information, that to increase your chances of survival when treated in a hospital, you have to do your homework.  Doctor’s will not tell you this information.

What’s the first thing you’re going to do after you read this article?  You need to go to http://www.healthgrades.com and find out how your hospital rates.  Don’t wait any longer, you’ve already waited too long.  Now you have this information, that means it’s your responsibility to make sure you get the best hospital care possible.  Don’t say I didn’t tell you!

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