Harvard Health Letter

Tips for evaluating hospitals

Hospital rankings from magazines and websites base their evaluations on performance measures such as patient safety, survival, technology, and readmission rates.

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Your doctor will make the call, but you can stay informed about the hospital you're admitted to through patient reviews, independent rankings, and satisfaction surveys.

If you require care in a hospital, it's helpful to have the facts about an institution: Does it take your insurance? Is it a certified center for your condition? What is its record of complications after medical or surgical procedures (particularly the one you might be having), compared with other hospitals? Thanks to the Internet, the information is just a few keystrokes away. It just takes a little homework to piece together an accurate picture of the hospital you find yourself being admitted to. Sometimes, especially for elective procedures, you can work with your doctor to make a choice that makes you feel comfortable.

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