According to a study conducted by USA Today, the way patients perceive a hospital may be completely different from that facility’s actual record of care. The newspaper looked at data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers (HCAHPS), which is conducted by Medicare, and Medicare’s Hospital Compare tool, which includes information about the number of deaths that have occurred at medical facilities as a result of pneumonia, heart attacks and heart failure.
What USA Today found was a clear disconnect between patient perceptions and the actual outcomes of medical facilities. In many cases, hospitals that received low marks from patients actually had better health outcomes than the facilities that patients were more pleased with.
According to Judith Hibbard of the University of Oregon, this disconnect results from the fact that patients don’t see the entire picture when they stay in a hospital.
“Patients are good at judging which places are clean, whether people responded to their needs and whether they’re getting adequate pain relief, but there’s lots of information that’s not captured in patient survey data that people should also pay attention to,” she told USA Today.
USA Today’s study illustrates that patients need to dig deeper when choosing where they receive their health care services. By taking the recommendation from a friend or family member, patients may actually be putting themselves at risk of medical malpractice because a favored hospital may not have an acceptable standard of patient care. Patients need to understand that making the wrong decision can have serious, even deadly, implications.
If you have been injured due to a physician’s negligence, speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney in your area. You may be able to recover damages because of the injuries that you suffered.