Philadelphia is known far and wide as a top destination for some of the finest medical care in the country. That position was solidified once more as U.S. News & World Report issued their top hospital rankings for 2015.
The Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian was ranked as the top hospital in the Commonwealth and the 9th best hospital in the United States. Penn joins the likes of Massachusetts General Hospital, the Mayo Clinic, and Johns Hopkins among the top ten.
The U.S. News & World Report rankings evaluate complex care in 16 specialties; both medical and surgical. 5 common care areas are also analyzed. According to the Reading Eagle, a mere 3 percent of hospitals in the country are good enough to earn a national ranking in just one specialty. In a statement issued by U.S. News chief of health analysis Ben Harder, he says, “Patients deserve high-quality information on hospitals. We strive to provide them with the most comprehensive data available so they can make more informed decisions together with their doctor about where to undergo treatment.”
Mr. Harder couldn’t be more correct. It has been proven that hospitals that perform key surgeries more frequently have better patient survivability and end results than those which perform the same surgeries less often. Based on one study, up to 11,000 deaths in a two year period could possibly be attributed simply to a hospital’s lack of experience in treating a patient’s specific condition. As patients are asked to take more and more responsibility for decisions about their medical care, choosing the “right” hospital for a procedure can, quite literally, be a matter of life or death.
The report is quick to note, however, that, while prestigious, top hospitals are not always necessary for more common procedures. In fact, insurance companies may actually limit access to top hospitals in order to encourage the cheaper treatments made possible by smaller, more community-based institutions.
Regardless of stature within the medical community, it is important to ask your doctor as many questions as necessary to establish whether this is the individual that is most qualified to perform your surgical or medical procedure. Understanding the doctor’s specialties, years in practice, and how current he or she is on the latest medical best practices will help to ensure that you have found the right medical professional for you.