Our updated hospital Ratings can help you choose a hospital in your area. And even if you don't have a choice in hospitals, our Ratings can help you identify and be prepared for potential problems at the hospital you do go to.
We have for the first time rated 1,159 U.S. hospitals for safety, providing a unique way to compare hospitals in your community. Still, our safety Ratings include just 18 percent of all the hospitals in the U.S. Why are so many excluded? Mostly because data on patient harm are still not reported fully or consistently nationwide.
Medical mistakes are all too common in hospitals, but you might not hear much about them from patients themselves. For one thing, many victims and their families, understandably, don't want to talk publicly about painful memories. And even if they do, they're often prevented from speaking out by gag orders or sealed legal settlements.
Bad things happen in all hospitals, but they happen a lot in some. That's one of the conclusions of our first ever Ratings of hospital safety.
We rated 1,159 hospitals nationwide for safety and found successful ones throughout the country. The 10 hospitals at the top of our Ratings are in 10 states. They are in big cities and small towns. The Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, seventh in our list, is a teaching hospital; others are small community hospitals. But we also found that even the best hospitals can do better.
You might feel comfortable choosing a car or washing machine based at least in part on what other people say online. But how about picking a hospital? A new British study suggests those hospital user reviews can be helpful.
Dangerous central-line bloodstream infections are down almost a third in U.S. hospitals, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And our updated Hospital Ratings, released this month, show a similar improvement in intensive care units. But despite the progress, these deadly infections—which are almost entirely preventable—remain widespread among hospitals nationwide.
Should an electrocardiogram be a regular part of your annual exam? A study out today in the Journal of the American Association says maybe, if you're 70 or older. But we don't think so, and an accompanying editorial agrees—and even quotes us saying so.
You might assume so, but many implanted devices, including artificial joints and surgical mesh, were never clinically tested on humans before being put on the market, according to a new Consumer Reports investigation. Worse still, if anything goes wrong, you might not hear about it—and may even have a hard time finding out what device you got.
Some 14,000 Americans die every year from a bacterial infection known as Clostridium difficile, or C. diff. for short, and another 300,000 are hospitalized, according to a report released today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And unlike other hospital-acquired infections, those numbers are going up instead of down—largely due to the rise of antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacteria.
No one was more surprised than me—a New Yorker, through and through—to see just how badly Big Apple hospitals did in our new patient-safety Ratings. After all, those of us living here tend to think that we have pretty much the best of everything on every streetcorner. Well, I’m afraid that just ain’t so, at least when it comes to staying safe in the hospital.
You might think that doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff would be among the first to get vaccinated against the flu. But too many don’t, even though hospitals can be breeding grounds for the virus and patients there are especially vulnerable to it, according to a report released today by the nonprofit National Business Group on Health. To counter that problem, a coalition of groups led by the NBGH, including the American Hospital Association and supported by Consumers Union, have started an initiative to increase flu-vaccination rates among hospital staff.
You now have access to more information about hospital safety, thanks to a step taken by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agency released bloodstream-infection rates in intensive care units for 1,146 hospitals in Washington D.C. and all states except Wyoming. Nearly a third of the hospitals reported no infections during the reporting period. However, the release covers only the three-month period from January to March, 2011. More data, including from Wyoming, will be added later in the year.
Our updated hospital Ratings show that doctors, nurses, and other clinicians often do a good job of communicating in general with patients, but struggle when it comes to information about drugs and discharge planning. Other research suggests those problems plague patients when seeing health-care providers for routine care, too. Partly in response to problems like those, the Institute of Medicine has convened a panel of experts, including Jim Guest, CEO of Consumer Reports, to come up with ways to improve doctor-patient communication. Here are some of their suggestions.
Many hospitals have succeeded in reducing the number of babies who are delivered early without a medical reason, according to a report from the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit watchdog organization that collects quality and safety data from hospitals on behalf of employers. In 2010 only 30 percent of hospitals that report data to Leapfrog maintained an early elective delivery rate of 5 percent or less, which experts feel is a reasonable target for hospitals. That figure improved to 39 percent of reporting hospitals in 2011.
Our testers put 100s of products through their paces at our National Testing and Research Center. Learn more about how we test for: