How Does Your Doctor Measure Up? – New Resource Grades Doctors, Hospitals
Most of us do what we can to eat an apple a day and keep that doctor away. However, for those times when you do need to see a doctor, particularly if it’s a new one, wouldn’t it be nice to know how your doctor measures up? And even better, wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to find the best doctors in your area specializing in different conditions?
That is what a new service recently launched by HealthGrades.com sets out to do. Founded in 1999, HealthGrades.com serves as an independent source of physician information and hospital quality outcomes. The website has now compiled research on the quality information of doctors and hospitals nationwise, and made it easily accessible to consumers. Simply go to HealthGrades.com/MyCity and click on your state to see reviews for the doctors and hospitals in your area.
There is good reason to be cautious. Patients at a 5 star rated hospital have a startling 73% lower risk of death as opposed to patients in a 1 star rated hospital, according to the recent report 2011 Healthcare Consumerism and Hospital Quality, which analyzed patient outcomes at 5,000 American hospitals. That means if all hospitals performed at the same level as 5-star rated hospitals, 240,040 Medicare patients may have possibly survived.
The report analyzed objective mortality and complication rates through 27 different procedures and diagnoses, utilizing data from over 40 million hospitalization records made available by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The study covered three years worth of data, from 2008 up until 2010. The hospital ratings are independently created, and mortality and complication rates are risk-adjusted, taking into account the different levels of severity of patient illness at different hospitals.
The 2011 Healthcare Consumerism and Hospital Quality in America report also included an analysis of how patients and their family members use the web to research a physician’s track record or the quality of a hospital. The Pew Internet Project reports that patients use the internet less to search for information about diseases and treatment, rather, people are increasingly using the internet to search for information about doctors and hospitals; 47% and 38% respectively in 2010, up from 21% in 2003.