If you or a loved one plan to enter a hospital soon, you’ll want to inquire about some important facility care statistics. Consider fine-tuning your advanced research by asking these important questions as you compare and evaluate medical facilities:
1. How many physicians and nurses work at the facility?
This issue impacts patient care in some situations, especially if an emergency arises. The ability to summon a qualified team of health care professionals on short notice remains very important.
For example, many hospitals in rural areas in the United States provide only a limited number of patient beds. These small-town facilities may maintain a relatively tiny staff compared to larger hospitals in cities.
2. What resources exist to care for patients with health conditions of interest to the patient in my family?
Many hospitals today essentially “specialize” in the treatment of specific health conditions. For instance, hospitals which mention organ systems or health conditions by name, such as a “heart hospital” or a “burn treatment center”, frequently function as highly specialized medical care centers. Patients with congenital heart failure may obtain high skilled attention at a heart hospital compared with a less specialized hospital, for example.
3. What visitation policies does the institution enforce?
Increasingly, hospitals today encourage friends and loved ones to visit patients at the care facility. In some circumstances, however, visitors may need to plan their attendance around specific visiting hours.
If the presence of a family member matters to the patient, learning about visitation rules in advance of seeking hospital admission may provide greater peace of mind. Some specialized treatment centers, including many facilities which care for cancer patients, will provide special housing to assist family members who travel long distances to remain close to patients during their treatment.
4. What rate of nosocomial infection does the facility report?
One of the most serious challenges facing hospitals today involves controlling nosocomial infections, diseases transmitted to patients after they arrive in the facility. Since hospital environments cater to many very ill patients, they tend to require rigorous infection control procedures to prevent the spread of some infections from one patient to another.
Facilities with excellent infection control measures in place and a low rate of nosocomial infection generally offer a better choice for patients seeking discretionary treatment. Individual circumstances may vary, however.
5. What types of patient rooms exist?
Today, modern hospitals often furnish private rooms. Open patient wards still exist in some older facilities.
Not Always a Option
Of course, selecting a hospital does not always involve options. Sometimes patients may require transport to the closest medical facility so that they can obtain life saving care.
If you do enjoy the luxury of choosing a hospital for treatment of a non-emergency condition, asking the questions discussed in this article will enable you to learn important information about the course of treatment you can expect to obtain. You may discover that one medical facility offers a better quality of care for your purposes than another.