Doctor Reputation

What Do Patients Look for in a Hospital?

What Do Patients Look for in a Hospital?

Choosing a hospital is a lot like choosing a doctor. Both processes are crucial, because there’s nothing more important than your health. Sure, some people may argue that choosing a wedding venue is more important, but people who are ill and need medical attention will say that there are more important decisions in life. A lot of factors may influence a person’s decision such as the hospital their doctor works for and their insurance, but usually there’s a little bit of maneuverability so that they can make their own decision when it comes to where they want to be taken care of.

Where people want to be treated is significant for so many reasons. First of all you want to go somewhere that’s nice and comforting. You don’t need a hospital with cold hearted staff members that feels like a prison. People also look for places that have the best outcomes. No one wants to go to a hospital that has poor medical service and where patients always face complications and trouble. It’s tolerable to have a few inconveniences at a hotel on a trip, but when someone goes to the hospital they want things to go as perfectly and as smoothly as possible.

There are lots of factors that people use to decide which hospital to go to. The first and most important of these is word of mouth as a patient listens to those who were hospitalized at one point and uses their feedback to assess a hospital. Another important factor is doctor recommendation. If your doctor recommends a hospital it’s likely that you listen to him or her. There are also factors such as reputation and brand. If a hospital is known internationally and has a great reputation everywhere then people won’t hesitate to go there. Finally there’s the issue of location and accessibility. People prefer hospitals that are closer to where they live.

The most essential determinants that make someone who needs to be hospitalized choose a hospital are previous experience and word of mouth. If you’ve already been hospitalized before and had a pleasant experience at a particular hospital where you find the staff to be nice and care about your wellbeing then if you ever need to be readmitted you’re going to choose the same hospital. If it works then there’s no reason to change it. On the contrary if you had a horrid experience the last time you were at a hospital, will you ever go there again? Definitely not. You’ll also advise everyone you know to stay away from that hospital. Here’s where word of mouth plays an important role. It’s like with doctors, what we hear from those close to us helps us make decisions.

If you’re hearing terrible things about a hospital from your cousin, friend, or in-laws there will be absolutely no reason for you to choose that hospital if needed. Why would anyone go to a place they hear terrible things about? Sure if it’s a restaurant then you may go find out if the things people say are true or if they’re exaggerating, but you don’t do that when it comes to a hospital. Our health is too precious to mess with and taking the risk simply isn’t worth it. Even if the person who says these negative things isn’t someone you trust, you still won’t risk it on the off chance that they’re right. Unfortunately for hospitals, and doctors, people in general like to speak more about the bad. You could go to the same store a dozens of times, but that one time a problem happens is the one experience you tell the world about. If someone visits a hospital and all goes well then they’re unlikely to call the people they know and tell them how pleasant it was. Sure they will express their positive opinion/feedback if asked, but otherwise they’re unlikely to mention it out of the blue. If a hospital treats 50 people a day with 45 of these having a favorable experience while the other 5 didn’t then you’re more likely to hear about the experience of the other 5. After all when you check the news the headlines are usually “man sues store for a poor experience,” it’s never “35 customers visit a store and have a wonderful time.”

The next factor is doctor recommendation. Patients who have had the same doctor for a long time and have an established great trusting relationship with him or her will likely listen to what they have to say when it comes to hospitals. Doctors are probably the best people to get advice from. They know what goes on inside hospitals and always hear feedback from colleagues who work at different hospitals. They have the full pictures. Doctors also want the best for their patients and their recommendations won’t be affected by bias to where they have a contract.

A hospitals reputation in a large scale and its image will definitely have an impact on patients as well. If a hospital is known nationally and even internationally then it’s likely to receive more patients. After all if so many people know about it then it must be doing something right. Unless of course it’s famous for the wrong reasons which would then result in people completely avoiding it. Reputation around patient care, safety and physical security plays a crucial role in this. On an international scale American healthcare and hospitals are considered the best in the world which is why, if they can afford it, people from all over the world travel to get treated in the United States. The same applies on a smaller scale inside the country. Places like Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, and Mayo Clinic are known to be some of the best hospitals in the US and the world. They’ve gained their reputation for the excellent service they provide and through some great marketing.

Finally, people will always look to a hospital’s location if they need to be taken and admitted to a hospital. If something major and acute is happening then a person’s family will definitely take them to the nearest possible hospital. A father who has a history of ischemic heart disease who experiences angina pain will likely be driven by his family to the closest hospital. In a situation like this people won’t really be thinking about what anyone else told them about the best hospital in the state. The important thing is to get medical attention as soon as possible. On the other hand if someone has a less severe condition then they may start to consider and assess their options and decide to go to a more distant hospital for better care. This may also be influenced by relatives and visits. If a person is having a procedure done they may want to be close to home so that their family can visit them as much as possible. There’s also the issue of returning home after an operation. The first few days back can be tough and the last thing you want is a long trip in the car from the hospital to home.

Hospitals should be a place where people go to get better. In order for that to happen, people need to feel safe and comfortable. Being stressed at a hospital is normal, but you don’t need the stress of being sick to be made worse by poor service at a hospital. Hospitals should make sure that all patients who leave have nothing to complain about and that their medical service is always up to standard. If a hospital is known for its patients getting hospital acquired infections then they’re destroying their image and reputation. It’s not only important to have comfortable rooms and nice staff members, but it’s also important to have competent people and facilities in order to give patients all they need in order to get better.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing a hospital is just as important as choosing a doctor, with many factors to take into account.
  • You should choose a place with welcoming staff and good reviews. 
  • You may also want to make your decision based on location or size.