With reports of medical errors caused by hospital negligence widespread, having knowledge of the reputation of the hospital where we are considering have a procedure performed can be useful, and possibly even life saving. Such was the opinion of Consumer Reports, as it recently compiled a list of the “best and worst medical facilities,” in the United States, in an effort to provide patients with the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision about their medical care.
In making its list, Consumer Reports looked at six areas:
- Rate of infections
- Communication regarding safety problems
- Length of time before discharged patients returned to the hospital
- Excessive use of tests that subject patients to radiation
- Common complications
- Fatality rates
Sacred Heart Hospital in Chicago received the lowest score, making it the least safe hospital in the United States according to the report. It received only 16 points out of a possible 100. Most shockingly, the hospital’s rate of infections in the bloodstream was two times the national standard.
The director of the Consumer Reports Health Rating Center elaborated on the Chicago hospital’s poor score, stating, “Across the board, in those six areas, they did not do well…They weren’t preventing infections…People (were) getting bedsores, falling. They had problems with doing two CT scans when one would suffice. There were a lot of things they could do better.”
Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago was also toward the bottom of the list, receiving just 23 of 100 points.
Consumer Reports was inspired to compile the list after reviewing statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which reported in 2010 that 180,000 Medicare patients died on a yearly basis because of medical malpractice issues, including surgical errors and infections.
Consumer Reports reviewed over 1,100 hospitals in the U.S. in making its determinations. This is the first such report ever assembled by the organization.
Source: Red Orbit, “Hospital Safety Ratings Released by Consumer Reports,” July 8, 2012.
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