Every year people in the health field, as well as patients, advocates and the media look forward (some anxiously!) to the annual list of America’s best hospitals.
The 2010-2011 list has just come out. An astounding 4,852 hospitals were evaluated, and 152 hospitals were chosen as the best.
However, the the Top 14 “Honor Roll” hospitals receive the most attention, and probably the most benefit from all this research. A lot of people wonder how this list is compiled. Is it which hospital has the most money? Fewest deaths? Best recovery rates from serious illnesses? It’s a combination of all of the above, plus many more. Let’s take a look at what makes an American hospital one of the best in the nation.
Criteria include an important factor – specialties. All hospitals on this year’s list of 14 have a minimum of six specialties, and have the best state-of-the-art equipment possible. For people with serious illnesses who need urgent care, knowing what hospitals have the best equipment and that specialize in their condition, this can be the criteria that makes their decision on what hospital to go to for their care.
The specialties taken into consideration are:
• Diabetes & Endocrinology
• Ear, Nose & Throat
• Heart & Heart Surgery
• Kidney Disorders
• Neurology & Neurosurgery
Additionally, the decision is based on how many doctors refer their patients to a particular hospital.
Use of technology is also taken into account. The better the technology, the better the score.
Mortality – or the death rate – in hospitals is also taken into consideration. How many die in hospital? How many die after surgeries or procedures? Accidents or infections while in hospital, that have nothing to do with the illness they are there for are also studied. For example, a huge outbreak of MRSA in a particular hospital would take their scores down.
Another important factor is nursing care and nursing and staff numbers.