Are Top Hospital Lists Worth Their Salt?

Recently, a study found that the top-rated U.S. hospitals had a 27 percent lower death rate than other hospitals. So are the best ranked hospitals within the healthcare market really the best places for patients to seek treatment from a king’s crown?

They probably are to quite an extent and the ratings more credible if it’s also known that the health care ratings organization is an independent one, such as is the case with HealthGrades.

So many top-rank lists

But consulting a single organization’s ranking lists might not serve to be the final answer in your search for the best place to get medical care from. Perhaps, including the results of other agencies such as the Leapfrog Group, which surveys over 1,300 hospitals nationally, or The Joint Commission, which tracks different kinds of medical care rendered, or even the U.S. News’ analysis of more than 5,453 medical centers to produce an Honor Roll based on 16 specialty rankings may also come in handy.

However, referring to several such reports on might at times turn out to be confusing, because they might not appear to agree on who the the best hospitality news after all are. And some of the very best on one list simply might not figure on another. For instance, if one study analyzes just high volume and low risk procedures, while the other takes account of difficult and highly specialized treatments, the results would naturally be quite different. Or if one just assessed the hospitals’ equipment & supplies, the outcomes would be radically different.

Cheeky Critics

Also, despite these lists being reliable in assessing the factors they rate the health care facilities on, are not without critics. The much debated Federal nursing home rating system is a glaring example, as some think that the assessment doesn’t consider a broader view of all that takes place inside nursing homes. Nevertheless, it does consider something, which is better than nothing.

It seems in the end that many of these lists do provide reliable assessments, but search for a perfect hospital should always take into account the patient and her family’s needs and limitation. As a result the top rank lists would be truly meaningful when they are used while considering the proximity, the abnormal medical condition, the medical procedure advised, affordability, and a host of such factors for which the patient and her family are perhaps the best judges.

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