Consumer Reports has recently become the latest edition to hospital safety research. Through an in-depth study involving hospitals across the nation, Consumer Reports has ranked hospitals on a variety of safety information. This includes statistics such as hospital re-admission, infection rates, adverse reactions, and death rates. Consumer Reports' hospital safety scores indicate that patients should conduct thorough research before undergoing any surgery. Some hospitals may be better than others at very specific surgical procedures, although they may perform poorly in other areas of medicine. In conclusion: it's really hard to call any hospital "the best."
There are a growing number of health safety groups that assess public and private hospitals for the effectiveness of their critical components in healthcare. Recently, Consumer Reports released new safety ratings for roughly 2,500 American hospitals. Within their ratings, Consumer Reports analyzed infection, surgical safety, adverse reactions following surgery, and hospital readmission rates.*

Consumer Reports’ Surprising Hospital Data

Across the nation, patients are pushing for a more transparent healthcare system. Many families were shocked to find that several well-known hospitals received very low scores. In addition, some lesser-known hospitals received impressive ratings. In Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center received scores classified in the “worst” category for complications after surgery. However, the Greater Baltimore Medical Center received very high scores for this same facet of healthcare.

Central Florida Hospital Safety Scores

In Central Florida, the two major hospital systems received very mixed reviews. Orlando Health and Florida Hospital are the two major hospital systems found in the Central Florida area. Each hospital goliath has seven separate locations within Central Florida alone. For purposes of the Consumer Reports study, research was conducted at all seven Central Florida locations for both Orlando Health and Florida Hospital.

Orlando Health Consumer Reports Score

Orlando Health hospital systems received an overall safety score of 46, on a scale of 1 to 100. Orlando Health hospital systems received four “worst” category scores in total. This included adverse reactions after surgery. An adverse reaction is any health complication that occurs because of the surgery. An adverse reaction may cause the patient to remain in the hospital longer than expected. In some cases, adverse surgical reactions may also cause death. The Orlando Health hospital system specifically performed poorly for its hip replacement surgeries. Orlando Health patients were discovered to be at a 30-percent greater risk of adverse reactions, than previously predicted, from surgical procedures overall. However, for hip replacement surgeries, Orlando Health patients were at an 85-percent greater risk of adverse surgical reactions.

Florida Hospital Consumer Reports Score

Florida Hospital systems received an overall safety score of 32, on a scale of 1 to 100. The Florida Hospital chain received 10 “worst” category ratings in total. Similar to Orlando Health’s hip replacement problems, Florida Hospital received a “worst” score for its knee replacement surgeries. In addition to receiving very low scores for their knee replacement surgeries, Florida Hospital locations received a “worst” score for their patient readmission rates after surgery. Patients at Florida Hospital are 19-percent more likely to suffer adverse surgical reactions than previously predicted. However, patients undergoing a knee replacement surgery at Florida Hospital are 39-percent more likely to face adverse surgical reactions than previously predicted.

Other Hospital Safety Scores

Every hospital has its strengths and weaknesses. Erica Mobley is the spokesperson for The Leapfrog Group, which has been steadily releasing data for its Hospital Safety Score website over the course of the last year. Mobley acknowledges that all of the data provided in these various hospital safety reports can be confusing. However, it is important that patients utilize this new hospital safety data to their benefit.

Comparing Hospital Safety Statistics

By researching all hospitals that a patient is willing to travel to, for statistics on the specific surgical procedure that is needed, the patient is able to make wiser medical decisions. Placing the power with the patient is the most genuine – and perhaps the most effective – way to improve the American healthcare system.   You can find Kenneth McKenna on Google+.   *It is recognized that some hospitals are more likely to treat a high percentage of elderly patients. Consumer Reports' hospital safety scores have been adjusted to reflect the increased medical risks of treating elderly patients.