Posts Tagged ‘rankings’

So Many Hospital Rankings, So Little Time – What Should You Look for as a Patient?

Understanding Hospital RankingsWhen you’re trying to price a car, you probably go to the Kelley Blue Book. When you’re looking for a go-to restaurant rating system, you probably choose Yelp or Zagat. When you’re looking for a cancer treatment center, you probably make sure it is designated by the National Cancer Institute. So, when you choose a doctor, or a clinic, or a hospital, what resources do you have to help you make that decision? Aside from the input of your trusted friends and family members, or checking out a health care system’s website, there are many organizations that seek to help patients make decisions about where they seek their care. Some of these organizations rank hospitals with hard data, i.e. – metrics on quality levels and patient outcomes, or by program survival rates. Others seek to measure quality as it relates to consumer or marketplace perception, and some even use fee-based systems, excluding hospitals who don’t pay to participate.

So if you want to make sure you can trust your health care team, you probably also want to make sure that the ranking system you employ to choose them is also trustworthy. Here are 3 things to look for when you choose what hospital rankings you rely on to choose your care provider:

Hard & Tangible Data

Whatever ranking system you choose, make sure that it uses reliable, unbiased data. As an example, some hospital rankings system includes data such as mortality rates, but be careful here. Mortality rates should be adjusted to take into account how sick patients were when they arrived at the facility; otherwise, the data is misleading. Make sure the ranking system you choose is straightforward in its disclosure of how ranking data is collected and used.

Validation from Independent & Credible Industry Associations

Just as there is a large volume of rankings out there, so too is there a large volume of established and reliable accrediting and governing organizations in the health care space. Ranging from large governmental organizations such as the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the American Medical Association (AMA) and the reliable publications they produce, i.e. – Journal of the American Medical Association, to nonprofits such as the American Cancer Society, there are organizations out there you can trust to give you the honest scoop on what you should look for in your care team and what ranking systems do a good job of helping you find them.

Collaboration in Rankings

If it was up to the organizations being ranked to choose their rankings, every business would be #1. It’s important when you choose a hospital ranking system to rely on that you also know who was involved in the process. In general, rankings that incorporate input from consumers, hospitals, physicians, and accrediting organizations are the most reliable. Look for rankings that are tangible and transparent in their language about who is involved in the selection process and how entrants are qualified.

What else do you look for when picking a hospital, clinic or doctor? Do you use ranking to help inform your decision? Let us know in the comments below!

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Emory Makes UHC Quality Hospital Rankings History

Emory Hospital UHC Quality Hospital RankingsIf you frequent our health care blog, engage with us on Facebook or Twitter, or have spent any time on our website, you have probably noticed that there is a theme woven through all Emory Healthcare’s presence. That theme is our dedication to our top priority here at Emory Healthcare, which is to provide high quality health care that is truly patient-centered. Because this mission is the focus of our Emory Healthcare team, five years ago, we implemented a five-year strategic goal to hold ourselves accountable in achieving it. That goal was to rank in the top academic medical centers in UHC. To anyone who doesn’t work in health care, you may be wondering what UHC is and why the organization’s rankings matter.

UHC was formed almost 30 years ago, and is an alliance of 114 academic medical centers and 255 hospitals affiliated with those academic medical centers. As described by UHC, their vision is “to help members attain national leadership in health care by achieving excellence in quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness.” To reach this goal, UHC uses quantifiable measurements of hospital quality and hard data to determine how academic medical centers measure up in their ability to provide the highest quality patient care.

Since we challenged ourselves to set the pace for academic medical quality five years ago, every individual that makes up the Emory Healthcare team has played a role in our commitment to quality patient-centered care and has been regularly reminded by our Emory Healthcare leaders of the improvements in our quality rankings as a result of our team’s efforts.

After setting a very lofty organizational goal five years ago, we are extremely excited to announce that our team’s commitment to providing high quality patient-centered care has paid off in a big way. Not only did we reach our goal, but this year, UHC has recognized these efforts and the undeniable data that demonstrates Emory Healthcare’s commitment to quality. As of 2011, UHC ranks the quality of care provided by Emory University Hospital (including Emory University Orthopaedics and Spine Hospital) as 10th among the more than 100 academic medical centers ranked by UHC. The quality of care provided at Emory University Hospital Midtown has been equally as impressive, as it ranks 11th by the UHC. The 2011 UHC rankings mark the first time in UHC history that two facilities from the same organization have placed this highly in the rankings of hospital quality.

Just last year, Emory University Hospital and Emory University Hospital Midtown were ranked 45th and 42nd, respectively. The significance of our jump in the rankings is a true testament to the compassion, dedication and commitment of our Emory Healthcare team to truly put our patients, families and community first by devoting themselves to providing the highest quality of care. It’s also a testament to our patients, families and communities who entrust us with providing them the highest quality care each and every day. We thank our entire Emory Healthcare family and community for their critical role in helping us achieve a goal that has such a positive impact on all of us.