The Hospital Report Card project is a truly unique and laudable project. It reports on the quality of care and provides ratings for every New York State hospital on a wide array of procedures, conditions, and other relevant categories. The goal is to provide patients with the information they need to find high quality care, and provide hospital quality leaders with technical assistance to improve quality measures.
In the capital region there are four hospitals; St. Peter's Hospital (Albany), Ellis Hospital (Schenectady), Glens Falls Hospital (Glens Falls), and Albany Medical Center (Albany). All but one of these hospitals was rated on the Safest Hospital list this year, while another again was named to the Watch List. Can you guess which one?
For the third year in a row, Albany Medical Center was named to the Watch List with deficiencies in "postoperative deaths from treatable complications," "postoperative bleeding," postoperative respiratory failure," "foreign bodies left behind," and "transfusion with wrong blood type." The other hospitals, while each having 1-3 deficiencies, also each had 2-4 strengths compared to only 1 strength at Albany Medical Center. But what does this mean and are these even a good idea?
Yes! They are a great idea and should be implemented on a wider, national scale for not just each hospital, but for any health care facility. For the patient who is able to choose a hospital for treatment, she or he could choose that hospital by looking at the listed strengths and weaknesses of each hospital with the data. However, for the patient in need of urgent care, the list would not be as useful. Moreover, hospitals under-performing may have to answer to the state and face budgetary repercussions. Isn't this what we want? Hospitals and health care officials not acting how they feel fit, but answering to us-the patients!
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