If you’re buying a refrigerator or a car, you may value “Consumer Reports” and its simple charts that rate various product features. But for the sick or injured, medical care is not so easily summarized. That’s one of the problems health leaders have with the magazine’s recent hospital safety rankings.
Individual scores were determined using data provided by the hospitals on infections, readmissions, communication, CT scanning, complications and mortality. On a 100-point scale, the highest score was 72. Syracuse’s Upstate Medical University scored 39, the same as the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio.
John McCabe MD, University’s chief executive officer, says the data the magazine used is from 2008 and is not risk adjusted. That means the numbers don’t take into account that a hospital such as University cares for a high number of complex patients and patients transferred from other hospitals.
“At the end of the day, I still believe that most patients or potential patients choose their hospital in one of three ways,” McCabe writes on his blog.
“First, they rely upon their physician’s advice. The trusting relationship between a patient and a physician drives much of healthcare decisions. Secondly, patients rely on their previous experiences or the experiences of family and friends at a hospital to help them decide where they should seek their care. Third, and especially for University Hospital, hospitals are often chosen because the technology or physician services that are available in one place but not another.”
Read the “Consumer Reports” article about hospital rankings
Read Upstate University Hospital CEO John McCabe’s blog post on the rankings
Read/watch coverage from Newschannel 9, WSYR