U.S. News and World Report has recently released its annual nationwide analysis of hospitals in the Best Hospitals for Common Care report.
Nearly every hospital across the country was analyzed and U.S. News gave each hospital a ranking.
The goal, according to an official statement , was to “help patients easily identify hospitals in their communities that excel in treating common conditions.”
Over 4,600 hospitals were given performance ratings on the most common procedures provided by inpatient facilities: Modern Healthcare reports that the U.S. News survey included three major surgeries (coronary artery bypass grafts, hip replacements, and knee replacements), and also two chronic medical conditions (congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
According to the findings, 10% of hospitals rated better than the national average on all five procedures. On the other hand, 10% were far below the national average on all five procedures.
To measure hospitals as fairly as possible, the U.S. News team evaluated each hospital using more than 25 various quality measures, ranging from mortality rates to patient satisfaction ratings.
Even among the hospitals that scored highly overall, it’s clear that there are areas that could be improved; the main problem that hospitals face today is that the staff doesn’t always have direct control over these areas.
Waiting times in emergency rooms, for example, are notoriously torturous in hospitals across the country. This is sometimes due to understaffing, but it’s usually caused by a high number of patients visiting the ER for medical treatment that could be provided at an outpatient urgent care center. A 2010 study conducted by the Rand Corporation found that around 20% of all hospital ER visits aren’t really emergencies — meaning that every one out of every five ER patients is taking up a bed — along with medical supplies, prescriptions, and the doctors’ and nurses’ time — when that patient doesn’t need immediate treatment in an ER.
The U.S. News report is available online at no cost, keeping with the ultimate goal of providing more transparency for patients who are “shopping around” for a hospital.