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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.

May 13, 2015
CAUTI Regional Learning Session and Safe Table
This learning session and Safe Table will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel, Kalamazoo. Topics will include nurse-driven protocols and patient and family engagement, teamwork and antimicrobial stewardship. Register online or contact Michelle Norcross for assistance.
May 14, 2015
CUSP Implementation Workshop
This one-day workshop will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Shanty Creek Resort, Bellaire. Led by Johns Hopkins CUSP experts, learners will work in groups to devise solutions to common barriers, develop an understanding of the roles of different CUSP team members and learn from others’ experiences. Before attending the workshop, participants must complete nine online Foundations of CUSP modules. Register online or contact Tammy Nault for assistance.
May 28, 2015
MHA Keystone: Pain Management Workshop
This workshop will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. May 28 at the Dearborn Inn. Hospital teams will hear from experts on the implementation and spread of quality improvement work, common challenges in treating chronic pain patients, patient and family engagement, patient-controlled analgesia, emergency department opioid prescribing practices and opioid safety in the inpatient setting. Register online or contact Tammy Nault for assistance.
  • 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.