Effective medical treatments depend upon hospitals providing services based on scientific knowledge to all who could benefit and refraining from providing services to those not likely to benefit.
Not all hospitals are the same. Research has shown that in some hospitals, patients get better medical care, experience fewer medical mistakes, and receive more attention for their needs. Some hospitals also treat certain medical conditions better than others. Here’s some questions to ponder:
Did you have to see another provider?
The hospital you visited may not be the top hospitals in your area for the type of treatment you needed. Consider the following:
1. The hospital lacked the specialist to treat a condition, or lacked the capacity or capability to perform a procedure. As such, the treatment you received did not cure the medical problem and you had to seek out another provider.
2. Millions of people have received prescribed medications that did not help their condition.
3. Each year, patient received operations that did not cure or make them better.
4. Patients spend hour receiving scans and tests that did nothing beneficial for them, and often caused harm.
Ineffective medical treatment is a hard pill to swallow, but it’s up to patients to take proactive steps to avoid it.
Did you have to be readmitted to the hospital?
Your doctor does not work alone but is assisted by many other professionals who have major roles in the success of your treatment. Usually, when treatments do not work, patients return to the hospital where the treatment was provided. This is known as being readmitted.
1. Hospital readmissions are disruptive to patients and costly to their pocketbooks.
2. Unintended return to hospitals shortly after discharge has been increasingly perceived as a marker of poor quality of care that patients received during the first hospital admission.
3. Hospital readmissions are frequent - 18% of Medicare patients have to go back to the hospital to treat the same condition within 30 days.
4. Each year, over 2.3 million patients are rehospitalized within 30 days after discharge.
5. The yearly cost is $17 billion to taxpayers.
It is reported by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) that about 75 % of such readmissions are unnecessary and can be avoided.
Did you suffer a complication?
Complications are avoidable patient safety events following surgeries, procedures, and childbirth. Complications are sometimes called medical errors. Complications may or may not be related to your doctor’s skill, and are related to other factors that hospitals manage. There’s more:
1. Complications usually arise from treatments at a hospital that does not have a strong record of treating patients with your condition in a safe and effective way.
2. Hospitals that do certain procedures frequently are usually better than those who do them less often and have less complications. On the other hand, hospital that does not have a lot of practice doing a certain procedure leads to complications.
3. If left untreated, complications can lead to serious infections, difficulty breathing, inability to walk, bleeding, and even deaths.
4. It is estimated that preventable errors cost the United States $17-$29 billion per year in healthcare expenses, lost worker productivity, and disability.
While sincere apologies are a decent gesture, hospitals have to do more toward addressing medical errors and protecting patients from harm.