Skip to main content

Health Encyclopedia

Search the Health Encyclopedia

How to choose the best hospital for surgery

Information

The quality of the health care you receive depends on many things besides the skill of your surgeon. Many health care providers at a hospital will be directly involved in your care before, during, and after surgery.

The work of all the hospital staff affects how well the hospital functions. This affects your safety and the quality of the care you will receive there.

CHOOSING THE BEST HOSPITAL FOR SURGERY

A hospital can offer many things to improve the quality of care you receive. For instance, find out if your hospital has:

  • A floor or unit that does only the type of surgery you are having. (For instance, for hip replacement surgery, do they have a floor or unit that is used only for joint-replacement surgeries?)
  • Operating rooms that are used only for your type of surgery.
  • Specific guidelines so that everyone who has your type of surgery receives the kind of care they need.
  • Enough nurses.

It can also be helpful to know how many surgeries like yours have been done at the hospital you have chosen or are considering for your surgery. People who have surgery at hospitals that do more of the same type of procedure often do better.

If you are having a surgery that involves newer techniques, find out how many of these procedures your hospital has already done.

HIGH-QUALITY MEASURES

Hospitals are asked to report events called "quality measures." These measures are reports of different things that affect patient care. Some common quality measures include:

  • Patient injuries, such as falls
  • Patients who receive the wrong medicine or the wrong dosage of a medicine
  • Complications, such as infections, blood clots, and pressure ulcers (bedsores)
  • Readmission and death (mortality) rates

Hospitals receive scores for their quality. These scores can give you an idea of how your hospital compares to other hospitals.

Find out if your hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission (a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the quality and safety of health care).

Also see if your hospital is rated highly by state agencies or consumer or other groups. Some places to look for hospital ratings are:

  • State reports -- some states require hospitals to report certain information to them, and some publish reports that compare hospitals in the state.
  • Nonprofit groups in some areas or states work with businesses, doctors, and hospitals to gather information about quality. You can look for this information online.
  • The government gathers and reports information about hospitals. You can find this information online at www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. You can also find information about choosing the best doctor online.
  • Your health insurance company may rate and compare how different hospitals perform on the surgery you are having. Ask your insurance company if it does these ratings.

References

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Guide to choosing a hospital. Updated May 2010. Medicare.gov Web site. www.medicare.gov/pubs/pdf/10181.pdf. Accessed January 4, 2017.

The Leapfrog Group. Choosing the right hospital. Leapfroggroup.org Web site. www.leapfroggroup.org/hospital-choice/choosing-right-hospital. Accessed January 4, 2017.

Review Date:11/27/2016
Reviewed By:C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) and this website do not claim the information on, or referred to by, this site is error free. This site may include links to websites of other government agencies or private groups. Our Agency and this website do not control such sites and are not responsible for their content. Reference to or links to any other group, product, service, or information does not mean our Agency or this website approves of that group, product, service, or information.

Additionally, while health information provided through this website may be a valuable resource for the public, it is not designed to offer medical advice. Talk with your doctor about medical care questions you may have.

Health
Outcome Data

No data available for this condition/procedure.

Health Encyclopedia

More Features

We Appreciate Your Feedback!
1. Did you find this information useful?
         Yes
         No
2. Would you recommend this website to family and friends?
         Yes
         No