Doctors Rate Hospitals
When doctors rate their hospitals, patients win. DoctorRated was created to give patients and the medical community a powerful tool to rate and rank physicians and hospitals. Our goal is to educate and inform patients about their choices in healthcare. Prior to DoctorRated, patients and doctors relied on "word of mouth” referrals as there was no website that provided peer ratings of doctors and hospitals. We feel that this is the most unbiased form of healthcare ratings system.
Doctors know their hospital's professional strengths and weaknesses in a similar way that patients know their hospital's interpersonal and social strengths and weaknesses. There are many options and opinions about which qualities make the best hospitals, and they range from objective quality metrics to subjective social/interpersonal strengths to logistical issues. Our ratings allow doctors and patients to rate the characteristics that we feel you should look for in your hospital.
A hospital's medical staff is comprised of doctors from different specialties that make up the complement of medical care necessary to care for all types of patients. The quality of medical staff can vary by service with some hospitals being better at one specialty than others, but this metric is aimed at valuing the medical staff as a whole.
An Emergency Department (ED) is the entry or portal to a hospital for most patients. ED doctors and staff have some of the most stressful and important jobs in the hospital as split-second decisions can be the difference between life and death. Alternatively, decisions to admit or discharge home can have significant effects on patient outcomes. Hospitals generally contract either with individual ED doctors, groups of doctors, or a company that employs doctors. This choice of ED doctor can be essential for the hospital as patients have been known to base their decision of hospital on who they will see in the ED.
Although most people think of hospitals as centers that take care of inpatients, a vast majority of hospital services are outpatient based including certain laboratory and radiology services, GI and cardiac cath labs, sleep labs, same-day surgical services, etc. Given the fierce competition among hospitals, outpatient services can occasionally break the tie between two similar centers.
Inpatient services are often the bread-and-butter of hospitals. The complement of medical staff including specialists and subspecialists, inpatient facilities like operative suites and procedure rooms, and the nursing and support staff to run these areas are critical to a hospital's ability to offer a comprehensive set of inpatient services. However, not all hospitals have the necessary components to run a full service system (sometimes despite their advertisement otherwise).
Specialty Care Services
Specialty care services will vary based on hospital size and goals as well as regional and community needs. Quaternary care centers will have a full amalgam of "super” subspecialists with the most advanced care options whereas local rural hospitals will not have many if any specialty care services (but will be able to support patients so that they can be taken care of closer to home in some situations). The goal is not to compare a region's major medical center to a rural hospital, rather to rate each center based on a region's or the nation's perceived top centers.
Below is a partial list of specialty and subspecialty care. This is a long list that may seem tedious but remember that a doctor will only have to rate a couple of hospitals this way.
If a hospital does not have a specialty service mentioned above, it should be marked "None”. If a doctor has no knowledge relating to a service, it should be marked "NA” for not applicable.
There are many ways to measure quality in hospital systems. Outcomes like mortality, morbidity, complications, length of stay, and cost of stay are important for quality measures and are becoming known to the public. Quality can also be measured in individual outcomes related to a specific disease process like myocardial infarction (MI), pneumonia, and sepsis. Doctors have a better insight into the initiatives and goals related to quality than the lay public, and thus we feel that this is a necessary metric to measure.
Hospitals and medical staffs must evolve in order to stay current with new and innovative services especially procedural and surgical techniques. A hospital's commitment to innovation can keep it at the forefront.
Although often overlooked in the grand scheme of hospital services, the nursing staff can make or break a hospital's reputation. A patient's first and last impressions of the hospital usually lie with the nursing staff. Most of a patient's serious signs and symptoms of illness are first evaluated by a nurse as well.
Non-Clinical and Support Staff
A hospital's non-clinical staff includes the admissions staff, housekeepers, transporters, secretaries, phone operators, etc. A hospital's support staff includes physical and occupational therapists, nutritionists, speech therapists, social workers, educators, etc. Needless to say, all of these staff members play a vital role in a hospital's functionality and patient satisfaction.
The administration of a hospital is tasked with the day-to-day operations of the hospital and the vision and future goals that the hospital strives to achieve. Hospital administrators can lead a hospital in the right or wrong direction. Doctors often will have an insight into this leadership.