Just as all physicians aren’t the same, each hospital emergency room isn’t the same. Differences in services, medical quality and response times offered at hospitals can impact the level of overall care you and your loved ones receive. Yet, it could take weeks to compare hospitals in the city and surrounding areas where you live. It’s that length of time you can’t afford should you or someone in your family require emergency medical care.
Measuring Check In Emergency Room and Other Hospital Services
The quality of services offered at hospitals has taken center stage since the passing of the Affordable Care Act. As reported in the December 27, 2012 Yahoo! News ” Medicare Quality Bonuses to Hospitals a Game-Changer” article the shift of linking Medicare reimbursements with the quality of hospital care, “will financially reward those hospitals who provide the best care based on 25 quality standards rather than on the number of procedures and tests performed.”
The 25 quality standards include items like:
- Patient satisfaction around communications with a hospital’s doctors and nurses
- Quality and effectiveness of a hospital’s pain management techniques, strategies, etc.
- How effectively hospital staff communicate information about medications
- Cleanliness levels at hospitals, including at check in emergency room times
- Levels of noise control at hospitals
- How well hospitals provide care for issues like heart attacks, child asthma, pneumonia and surgery
- Numbers of readmissions experienced after patients receive care at a hospital
Taking More Control of Hospital Emergency Room Stays
Government agencies and medical organizations have the tools and expertise to develop tools to measure the quality of standard and emergency room hospital care. These measurements have started to be used by hospital reservation system programs, making it possible for you to compare dozens of hospitals in a matter of minutes.
You can use these services whether you want to find the best hospital for a specific type of ongoing care or whether you want to reserve emergency services at a nearby hospital, thereby cutting down on the amount of time it takes to be seen after you arrive at a hospital. This is important, especially considering that the numbers of emergency room visits to United States hospitals has increased by as much as 32 percent over the last decade.
Unfortunately, these numbers are only expected to increase in the new decade. This equals longer emergency room wait times, something that could put some people’s lives at risk. Hospitals could lower wait times by hiring more doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. To empower yourself, taking more control of your healthcare experiences, you could use an emergency check in system at no cost to you. Depending on the system you use, you might be required to provide information like your name and zip code. It could take you less than five minutes to reserve emergency care at a hospital using a hospital reservation system.
If you arrive to a hospital emergency room within your reserved timeframe, you could save hours of waiting in crowded emergency centers. You could also help ensure that you and your loved ones receive the quality care you deserve as soon as possible. Arrive to the hospital late, and you could make another reservation or forfeit your chance to receive priority care.
http://medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1 (Medicare.Gov: Hospital Compare)
http://news.yahoo.com/medicare-quality-bonuses-hospitals-game-changer-225200438.html (Yahoo! News: Medicare Quality Bonuses to Hospitals a Game-Changer)
http://www.hfma.org/Templates/Print.aspx?id=24369 (HFMA: Is There a Cost Associated with Higher Quality)
This piece was written by Rhonda Campbell.