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Selecting a Hospital

Choosing where to get healthcare services is an important decision. It can make a difference in the cost and outcome of your treatment, because every patient's health insurance is different and hospitals can offer expertise in different areas. Patients should consult with their primary care physician before seeking hospital care and also consider the following questions.

Does the hospital have experience with my condition?
Certain hospitals have more experience with specific conditions. Ask your doctor or the hospital for information on:

  • how often the procedure is done there
  • how often the doctor performs the procedure
  • what the outcomes have been for other patients who have had the treatment at that hospital

Does your specialist or surgeon have privileges at the hospital?
Doctors usually have certain hospitals in which they are allowed to practice; this is known as "privileges." You may want to choose a hospital where your doctor can treat you. If you choose to go to a hospital where your doctor does not have privileges, you may be under the care of another doctor.

Is the hospital accredited by national accreditation bodies like the The Joint Commission, DNV or the American Osteopathic Association?
Hospitals undergo a licensure process that requires them to meet certain standards for the delivery of patient care. In addition, hospitals can choose to be surveyed by accreditation organizations like the The Joint Commission to make sure they meet certain quality standards. The Joint Commission, for example, prepares a performance report on each hospital that it surveys. The report lists such items as:

  • accreditation status, ranging from "Not Accredited," to the highest, "Accredited with Commendation"
  • evaluation of the key performance measures
  • areas needing improvement
  • comparison with national results

How does the hospital's quality compare with others in my area?
Websites that have quality information should be one of many factors you should consider before making any healthcare decision. Such information is available on this website here. Other websites that have quality information include:

Does my health insurance cover care at the hospital?
If you are looking to have a procedure done at a particular hospital, first ensure the hospital is "in the network" of your specific health insurance plan. Keep in mind that hospitals deal with hundreds of different insurance plans every day, so calling the hospital to ask if they "accept" your plan is often not a fool-proof way of finding out if your care will be paid for. It is always best to contact your insurance company's customer service line and ask them to confirm whether the hospital is in your network of covered healthcare providers.

I don't have insurance; does the hospital have a charity care or payment plan policy that will work for me?
Patients who don't have health insurance but are aware that they need to seek care at a hospital in the near future are urged to contact the hospitals in which they are considering treatment and inquire about their charity care policies and payment plan options. In 2010, Michigan community hospitals provided nearly $2.6 billion in community benefits to patients and local residents. These programs provide hundreds of millions of dollars worth of charity care to patients who may lack the necessary resources to get well.

Have you asked friends, family and colleagues about their experiences with local hospitals?
A patient's specific experience with a hospital may be different from the care others receive, but getting information about items such as the quality and comfort of patient rooms or waiting rooms, attitudes and friendliness of the hospital staff, quality of food from the cafeteria, and other convenience or comfort issues will be helpful.

March 10 and 11, 2015
MHA Patient Safety & Quality Symposium Focuses on Leading Transformation
The MHA will host its annual patient safety and quality symposium, Leading in the Age of Transformation, March 10 and 11 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. The conference will examine factors driving healthcare transformation, including the shift from volume to value toward population health, the demand for greater transparency and cost-effective care, and systems that are the pinnacle of quality and safety improvement.

Registration is available online.
March 27, 2015
CPPS Review Course Webinar March 27
The National Patient Safety Foundation, in partnership with the MHA Keystone Center, is offering a review course webinar to experienced patient safety professionals who plan to take the Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) exam. The course will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 27 and can help participants prepare for the exam by reviewing domain content areas and test-taking strategies. MHA Keystone Center members will receive a 20 percent discount on registration; please contact Tammy Nault for the discount code.

  • $355 for members of the ASPPS and MHA Keystone Center
  • $395 for non-ASPPS members who are MHA Keystone Center members
  • Annual Symposium

    Annual Symposium

    The MHA Patient Safety & Quality Symposium offers an opportunity to explore innovative patient safety techniques and dialogue with others about how to enhance patient safety across the continuum. Learn new strategies and ideas from faculty who are game-changes in the healthcare and business world.

  • Patient and Family Engagement

    Patient and Family Engagement

    Michigan hospitals and the MHA Keystone Center are committed to including patients and families in improving care and focusing improvement efforts with a patient-centric approach. To that end, the MHA Keystone Center is a proud Pinwheel Sponsor of the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care.

  • Pain Management

    In May, the MHA Keystone Center is launching MHA Keystone: Pain Management to implement evidence-based best practices around pain control and to help patients better manage their pain in the hospital. Contact Michelle Norcross to learn more.