The best hospitals are those with a world-class staff, leading edge facilities and a stellar reputation for prioritizing patient care.
The best hospitals also acknowledge the communities where they are located and engage in vigorous outreach programs to bolster the overall health of the local population.
But the benefits created by the best hospitals don’t stop there.
21 Benefits Of The Best Hospitals
The best hospitals are more than places to go when you’re sick. They also add value to the communities they’re in and the world at large that are hard to quantify. But we’ll try. Here are 21 of the most important benefits created by the best hospitals.
1: The best hospitals are staffed by some of the best doctors.
Attracting the best doctors is a priority for the best hospitals. After all, their reputations rest on the quality of care they provide, and that starts with the medical staff. It may be difficult for a new hospital to attract top talent. But once a hospital has established an outstanding reputation, it is typically the best doctors that seek them out, rather than vise versa.
2: The best hospitals have the best nursing staff.
Outstanding doctors are the building blocks of a world-class hospital. But the nursing staff is the mortar that holds everything together. Nurses outnumber doctors by a significant degree (1) and are, in many ways, the face of the hospital as far as patients are concerned. They need to be patient, understanding, and caring and be on top of their game from a medical perspective.
3: The best hospitals prioritize the patient experience.
Most of the best hospitals have one thing in common: they recognized early on the value of improving the patient experience (2). The patient experience deals with whether or not the hospital has lived up to its obligations. Those obligations include everything from maintaining a hygienic environment to keeping patients informed about their situation.
4: The best hospitals are at the forefront of technology.
Few fields are evolving as rapidly as medical technology (3). The hospital that can identify and procure the newest, best technology will have a leg up on other hospitals. The best hospitals are run by people who understand that ‘new’ does not always equal ‘progress’, but that true progress should always be embraced.
5: The best hospitals are often at the forefront of medical research.
Studies indicate that hospitals that have active medical research components provide a higher standard of care and are more efficient than those that do not (4). So it should not be a big surprise to learn that many of the best hospitals also happen to support an array of leading-edge research initiatives.
6: The best hospitals offer the latest treatments.
These days, new and innovative medical treatments are coming online at a startling clip. From gene therapies once thought impossible (5) to new approaches to treat common allergies, these new treatments promise ever more effective care. The best hospitals are either intimately involved in creating these treatments or are quick to adopt them to benefit their patients.
7: The best hospitals don’t treat you like a number.
It is an unfortunate fact of modern life that many big-city hospitals seem to specialize in stripping patients of their humanity. The institutional indifference takes many forms, including how you are addressed, the amount of eye contact you receive, and whether anyone bothers to learn your name. The best hospitals reject the stockyard approach in favor of a more personal touch.
8: The best hospitals have visionary leadership.
The healthcare industry has undergone enormous changes in recent years. Those hospitals that have emerged as guiding lights are those whose leaders have a clear vision they are able to communicate to their entire team. Hospitals are in a constant state of flux. The best have leaders who recognize the potential pitfalls that lie ahead and are able to navigate around them.
9: The best hospitals coordinate their efforts.
Hospitals today are complex, multifaceted organizations with numerous departments and multiple levels of administration (6). All the departments and administrative staff must communicate effectively, or everything grinds to a halt. The best hospitals have well-established care pathways that cut through the administrative undergrowth so that patients do not become victims of bureaucracy.
10: The best hospitals cater to patient needs.
All too often, patients are the forgotten element in the healthcare equation. That is not the case at the best hospitals. A truly great hospital does not measure its success by how many beds it fills or how many expensive operations it performs, but how well it treats the human beings occupying those beds and undergoing those operations.
11: The best hospitals embrace transparency.
In 1960 Americans spent some $27 billion on healthcare. By 2017 that number had risen to $3.5 trillion. Still, most Americans had no idea where their healthcare dollars were going. In 2019 the US government passed a law requiring hospitals to post their prices for all to see (7). Something overseas hospitals rarely do.
12: The best hospitals are accountable.
You really find out about the quality of a hospital when something goes wrong. If staff members race around trying to cover things up or blame one another, it is a sure sign of a second-rate organization. The best hospitals acknowledge mistakes and take immediate corrective action. Finger-pointing is replaced by accountability. Excuses are replaced by a desire to learn from mistakes.
13: The best hospitals attract the best doctors.
Success tends to attract success. And so it is with the best hospitals. They attract the best and brightest medical minds who, in turn, attract other top talent. It’s an upward spiral of quality that benefits the patient first and foremost.
14: The best hospitals prioritize communication.
Communication is the key to any successful relationship. And that goes for the relationship between patient and hospital as well. No one wants to be left in the dark about their situation. They want to be treated like adults. It is their body, after all, their health. They should not be the last ones to know what is going on (8). The best hospitals recognize and respect this.
15: The best hospitals engage their communities.
Hospitals do not exist in a vacuum. The best hospitals recognize this and actively engage the communities that host them. Hiring people from the local community is a start. But more direct engagement is also needed. This is done by actively supporting local health clinics, developing outreach campaigns that educate and answer basic health questions, and more.
16: The best hospitals are responsive to patient needs.
Hospitals are not hotels, so patient expectations need to be kept somewhat in check. But at the same time they are not prisons either. If something is wrong with your room or bed or medication, the staff should listen to your complaint or feedback and make all reasonable efforts to correct the situation or accommodate your request. Failing to respond is failing to care.
17: The best hospitals are very comfortable.
The days of the metal bed, lumpy mattress, mosquito netting, and ceiling fans to keep you cool are long over. Today, some of the best hospitals embrace hotel-industry ideas about comfort. Some go as far as hiring former hotel managers to consult on room designs and suggest amenities. The net experience can be more that of a spa than a hospital.
18: The best hospitals treat patients with dignity.
Being admitted to the hospital means surrendering control. That is hard enough to deal with. You should not have to surrender your dignity as well. The best hospitals recognize the compromised situation you find yourself in and go out of their way to treat you with respect, kindness, and empathy. You are kept abreast of your situation and afforded as much privacy as possible.
19: The best hospitals are clean, sanitary, and safe.
It should go without saying that hospitals should set the standard for cleanliness, but that is not always the case (9). All too often, the places we go to seek refuge from pathogens are unsanitary and unsafe. That is not something that happens at the best hospitals. They set the bar for hygiene and personal safety for patients and staff.
20: The best hospitals provide peace of mind.
There is nothing worse than second-guessing: “Would things have worked out better if I had gone to a better hospital?” It is the kind of thing that produces knots in the stomach and that worst of all feelings, regret. When you decide to go to one of the best hospitals for your health issue, you can rest easy knowing you are doing everything possible to ensure a positive outcome.
21: The best hospitals judge performance, not reputation.
The best hospitals are constantly evaluating their staff. Those evaluations are not based on what they did last year or in their previous posting, but whether they are delivering for patients in the here and now. No one is above reproach. No one is allowed to coast on their reputation.
From delivering world-class care to adding immeasurable value to the communities where they are located the best hospitals are good citizens and good neighbors, besides being the best places to get treated for your illness or injury.