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At SCL Health and Lutheran Medical Center, we recognize the importance of helping patients identify the right healthcare provider. But finding the right physician to guide and oversee your care is something that Americans don’t always take the time to do. In fact, while Americans rank the importance of their doctor second to only their spouse, they actually spend just as much or more time researching common items such as a refrigerator over their doctor selection.
Perhaps consumers just don’t realize the vast amount of information available when it comes to choosing healthcare providers. Information about a hospital’s performance – based on objective measures of quality – is readily available, as well as personal opinions and perspectives from patients about their experiences with doctors and hospitals.
By researching before you go, you can feel confident that the care you receive will be right for you. Here are a few tips to guide you:
- Ask questions. Does the doctor have experience treating your health concerns? Have other patients recommended them? Asking these types of questions and getting answers are critical before choosing a doctor and making an appointment.
- Use a website like www.healthgrades.com. Healthgrades provides unprecedented access to quality information for more than 4,500 hospitals and patient surveys for 3 million physicians and providers nationwide. This is a valuable resource, considering that 50 percent of Americans have admitted to feeling as if they made a mistake when selecting their doctor1.
- Review the statistics. Patients treated in a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical ExcellenceTM like the three SCL Health hospitals in the Denver area, have a 30.9 percent lower risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality rate across 18 conditions and procedures as compared to all other U.S. hospitals evaluated. That means between 2009 and 2011, a total of 164,414 deaths could have potentially been prevented nationwide.
More hospital quality and data resources are available through Colorado Hospital Report Card website at www.cohospitalquality.org, and www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov, operated by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
By following the steps outlined above, you can feel more confident in choosing a doctor. We encourage you to know before you go! Your health may depend on it.
12012 Healthgrades Consumer Readiness Research Study
22013 Healthgrades Hospital Quality Clinical Excellence Report
32013 Healthgrades Hospital Quality Clinical Excellence Report