How do I get hospital statistics, and why do they matter?

Suggested post (Harvard Medical School)

There are various websites that can give you information you can use to evaluate the quality of care at hospitals in your area. Often there are big differences that can have an effect on how your delivery goes, so it’s important to be aware of statistics like a hospital’s success in avoiding surgical births or patient infections before you give birth.

How do I get them?

There are many online tools you can use to look at hospital statistics, and you can supplement the information you find online by asking people in your community about their experiences in various hospitals in your area. Here are a few websites that offer hospital statistics and comparisons:

  • U.S. News & World Report has a 2015-2016 Best Hospitals ranking that takes into account complex care, common care, and children’s care.
  • Health Insight ranks hospitals in every state using data downloaded from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
  • Hospital Safety Score grades hospitals on how safe they keep their patients from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.
  • This C-section rates tool, which was made using data from The Leapfrog Group, will show you the C-section rates of hospitals in your area.

What do the statistics mean?

Basically, these statistics tell you how often certain things that most patients want to avoid occur at any given hospital. They’re important because they give you insight into how a hospital operates before you ever step foot in the door. Does this hospital do too many C-sections? This information may be crucial, especially if you want to avoid having a C-section delivery.

What do I do with this information?

If a hospital has a high C-section rate, it means that you have a higher risk of undergoing C-section surgery just by choosing that hospital. C-sections require longer recovery, and surgical birth poses risks to both mom and baby. Hospital statistics can inform you about whether a hospital performs C-sections due to surmountable complications like a larger baby or long labor time, or if they only perform them when absolutely necessary. Use these statistics to inform your decision of the hospital in which you’d like to deliver.

Tap the button below to use our hospital ratings tool to learn more about hospitals in your area.

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