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I have a question for women like myself who are frequently in and out of hospitals and/or emergency rooms..

By June 1, 2009 - 12:51pm
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I have a question for all of the women out there like myself who are in and out of hospitals and emergency rooms frequently due to chronic health issues. This certain thought has been pressing my mind lately; specifically mostly recently when I was in the hospital for another surgery about two weeks ago. As a patient in a hospital or emergency room would you rather be in an extremely clean, newly built and more advanced facility yet have to endure doctors and nurses who are commonly unobservant nor very perceptive or kind….. OR PERHAPS…. Would one rather be in what might be a more crowded and less aesthetic location that is not as new yet well kept and fully staffed with detail oriented personable doctors and nurses? It’s up to YOU readers, what truly matters most to you when your health is on the line?

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Expert HERWriter

Hello ABrammer!

What a great question this is! And it's one that I think everyone can answer, even if we're not in and out of hospitals and urgent cares and doctors' offices all that often. I'm so sorry to read that this is the case for you. I hope you can now go many many months without having any health issues that take you to the ER.

Given the choice, I'd much rather have outstanding doctors with friendly and compassionate bedside manners in an old, busy, and even slightly rundown hospital. Assuming that they can still provide me with the same level of care as the other, nicer facility (tests, etc.), I don't really care if they are practicing inside a small building with paint-by-number pictures on the wall or a huge fancy facility with leather furnishings and fresh flowers.

Having said that, one of my dear friends has a mother-in-law who works in the medical field and she claims that the better doctors tend to gravitate towards the nicer hospitals. I suppose that makes sense. I guess I'd want to work in the newer, fancier building too most days. But interestingly, this same friend has had two babies--one in a very nice and state of the art hospital with awesome food and fancy rooms and the other one in an older building where some of the chairs and wallpaper had small rips, etc. Not a huge deal or anything, but just a sign that the 2nd hospital was older and in need of some minor repairs. My friend said the care she got at the 2nd hospital was so much better than at the newer facility. She said the nurses were more attentive and friendlier and overall it was a better experience for her.

What do you think? How would you answer your own question? I hope more people weigh in! Best in health, Michelle

June 4, 2009 - 10:09pm

Dear ABrammer, I am not one that has been in hospitals as a patient, but one that has worked in many facilities over the years.

I am sorry to read about your health problems which force you to be in and out of these facilities. You did mention "chronic" conditions and usually hospitals are not the place for chronic conditions unless a complication occurs from a chronic condition. Most hospitals are designed to receive "acute" and trauma type of cases or scheduled surgeries.

But going back to your question, I think that hospitals are not a place most people want to be. However from professional experience there are a few patients that earned the nickname "E.R.frequent flyers" Most of these patients have a personal need (i.e emotional, social) met by being in a hospital E.R. and may not care whether it is clean or new. Others use the E.R. as an "urgent care center" (which is causing big financial stress to hospital systems) and probably will not care about the type of hospital, its reputation, etc as long as they get seeing and get their prescription.

I think for those cases where there is a choice for a facility, people should research the hospital's reputation and statistics, I would ask for their JCAHO status and report card score on their accreditation (above 98%) http://www.jointcommission.org/

Did you know that staph infections acquired in hospitals are in the raise and these infections kill over 15,000 Americans every year? I rather go to a hospital where I know for sure has addressed seriously the staph infection statistics than getting a friendly staff. But most hospitals with JCAHO scores of 98% or above have also high scores in patient satisfaction, including friendly, caring medical staff, nursing, etc.

Check also "magnet status" of the hospital, here is a link where you can learn more about this: http://www.nursingadvocacy.org/faq/magnet.html#suggestions.html

And there is another site, The American Hospital Association but you have to be a Hospital to be a member, but here it is just in case: http://www.aha.org/

Great question!

June 3, 2009 - 10:47pm
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