+Defining Quality Care
Most people would probably define quality as receiving the best care possible for your particular illness or condition. It would include the avoidance of errors or mistakes. And for many, it also includes the entire experience of receiving care — including respectful treatment by medical professionals and clear answers to your questions.
Until recently there hasn’t been a consistent way to measure healthcare quality. Crouse Hospital has joined with federal and state agencies, employers, accrediting bodies and other healthcare organizations to provide standard quality indicators that patients and consumers can use when comparing quality.
These measures also enable us to see how we perform against state and national benchmarks. We monitor our performance on a daily basis and implement quality improvement plans to continually raise the bar on quality. Our community deserves nothing less.
+Using Quality Indicators
There are many important considerations when it comes time to choose a doctor or receive care in a hospital. Among them should be quality indicators, which can tell you how that hospital performs in key areas related to your condition. Remember however, that these are statistics, gathered over time from hundreds and thousands of patients. They are not predictors of your own outcome or situation, but can help reassure you that you are receiving your care in a facility with high standards.
As you study quality indicators, on this Web site and others, it’s important to take the time to understand them. You should know what is being measured, and why, and for what time period. If you visit more than one site to view quality indicators, be sure that you are comparing “apples to apples.” And you should be sure that each site you visit represents a source you can trust.
If your study of quality indicators raises any questions about the facility you may choose to receive care, then talk with your doctor. Your own healthcare team can make the best recommendation about your particular situation.
+Choosing a Hospital
Selecting quality healthcare services for yourself, a relative or friend requires special thought and attention. Knowing what to look for and what to ask will help you choose a hospital that provides quality care and best meets your needs.
You may not always have the opportunity to choose the hospital from which you receive care, especially in an emergency situation. However, when you or a loved one has a planned admission to the hospital, obtaining some important information first can help make your hospital experience a positive one.
Begin by asking your doctor about the advantages or special characteristics of each hospital where he or she practices. Your doctor can help you select the hospital that is best for you. You should also verify which hospitals are accepted by your insurance, HMO or PPO plan. Then ask the following questions to help you determine which hospital meets your needs.
+Questions About the Hospital
- Is the hospital conveniently located? Can you and your family get there easily for scheduled as well as emergency medical care?
- Is the hospital accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body? It should be. Crouse Hospital is accredited by DNV Healthcare, a well-regarded accrediting agency that reviews the quality of our services on an annual basis.
- Does the hospital have a written description of its services and fees? What resources does the hospital provide to help you find financial assistance if you need it?
- Is the hospital clean? Visit the hospital and look around. Ask to see the waiting rooms and patient rooms.
+Questions About Your Specific Needs
- Do the services and specialties provided by the hospital meet your specific medical needs? Do you have a medical condition requiring specialized attention? Your medical history and current medical condition may affect the type of hospital you choose.
- Do you know the hospital’s success record in carrying out the specific medical procedure you need? What is the training of the doctor who will perform the procedure? Ask how often the particular procedure is done.
- Does the hospital explain the patient’s rights and responsibilities? Ask to see a copy of the hospital’s patient rights and responsibilities information.
- Do you know who is responsible for maintaining your personal care plan? How are the care givers kept informed about your specific care needs? Can you or your family be kept up-to-date on your medical care?
- Does the hospital have social workers? Ask what services the social workers provide. Social workers usually help patients and their families find emotional, social, clinical, physical and financial support services. At Crouse, this department is called Care Coordination.