What to Know When Choosing a Health Care Provider

Tools

Story Updated: Jan 16, 2013

(NewsUSA) - Consumers are more concerned than ever about making the right health care decisions, yet a national study from Healthgrades suggests that people actually spend more time researching their refrigerator purchase than their health care provider.

"When people aren't properly informed, they tend to choose convenience over quality," explains Dr. Archelle Georgiou, "Instead of using objective measures of performance such as mortality and complication rates, patients select providers who are covered under their insurance and located close to them. Unfortunately, this approach often results in dissatisfaction and poor outcomes."

According to Dr. Georgiou, there are three primary reasons why many patients fail to find a quality health care provider: 1. They are unaware that objective performance information is available; 2. They have a misperception that their insurance doesn't offer a choice; 3. They confuse convenience and quality.

However, patients do not have to remain uninformed or misguided. Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed by Healthgrades agreed they would be able to make better choices regarding their health care if they knew more about doctors' and hospitals' quality outcomes.

To better equip Americans to make suitable choices about their health care, Healthgrades published the American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2013, which examines how some 4,500 hospitals across the country compare to each other. The report uses risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates to evaluate the care for 30 of the most common conditions and procedures. Hospitals that perform above average receive five stars; those that perform below average get one star.

Georgiou believes, patients should evaluate similar factors when selecting doctors, too. "Patients must decide whether the doctor is the right doctor for them," Georgiou says. "Is the doctor board-certified? What is their sub-specialty? Have they done surgeries just like this one? Do they have excessive numbers of malpractice cases? How do patients rate their experience with them? "

If you need help finding qualified physicians and high-performing hospitals in your community, go to www.healthgrades.com. The site will identify local specialists with information on their qualifications, hospital affiliations and patient experience survey results.

Add a comment

Name:

Comment: 250 Characters Left

WBNG and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the above comments or other interaction among the users. We reserve the right to screen, refuse to post, remove or edit user-generated content at any time and for any or no reason in our absolute and sole discretion without prior notice, although we have no duty to do so or to monitor any Public Forum.

Featured Professional

Ophthalmology

Guthrie Specialty Eye Care



Interviews with Dr. Lester McDonald
Interviews with Dr. Chaudhri

Guthrie Specialty Eye Care is proud to offer a wide range of comprehensive eye care services from basic eye health screenings to some of the most sophisticated eye surgical procedures available.

Guthrie Specialty Eye Care offers you six convenient locations, with six board-certified ophthalmologists, nine therapeutic optometrists and more fellowship-trained sub-specialists than any other eye care provider in the area.

Comprehensive services include cataract surgery, cataract surgery with Crystalens HD, corneal implants, diabetic eye care, dry eye care, macular degeneration, retinal detachments and disorders, eye infections, glaucoma, muscle surgery (cross eyes), and pediatric ophthalmology.

Cataract Surgery is one of the most common eye services available. Guthrie now has options that include Crystalens.

To learn more about Crystalens or other Guthrie Specialty Eye Care services, please log on to www.guthrie.org/eyes.

Guthrie Specialty Eye Care – Committed to Quality – Experience You Can Trust