U.S. News and World Report annually puts out a “Best Hospitals Guide” that has many recognizable names on it, like Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.  However, Consumer Reports recently rated hospitals with very different criteria and came up with some very different results.  Consumer Reports based their study entirely on patient safety data (infections, readmission, mortality, etc.) whereas U.S. News and World Report appear to have based their ratings more on reputation and ability to perform very complex and complicated surgeries and procedures.

Consumer Report’s “Top Ten Hospitals” list includes none of the 17 honored hospitals on U.S. News and World Report’s guide.  Many of the most prestigious hospitals examined were said to be among the most dangerous, with the Harvard-associated Massachusetts General Hospital boasting poor complication and mortality rates and New York Presbyterian Hospital receiving poor marks with respect to communications with patients about their recovery and medications.

Like “Best Doctor” lists, “Best Hospital” lists have to be taken with a grain of salt.  Ultimately, it is important not only to know where you will be treated, but by whom. In Arizona, the Board of Medical Examiners has a website which is user-friendly and will set out the history and training of doctors. Another source of information can be the courthouse files of medical cases against hospitals and doctors, some of which can be accessed online. The Board of Medical Examiners can also provide certain information regarding the malpractice history of a physician.

In an emergency, you will likely not have much choice, but, where you have the chance, doing some basic research can help your odds for a successful result.

For more information on this topic, visit: https://ideas.time.com/2012/07/11/why-the-best-hospitals-might-also-be-the-most-dangerous/