Changes in Hospital Care

Choosing A Hospital

Determining which hospital is best for you and your family may require some planning and thought

  • about your and your family's expectations for health care
  • about your health care plan coverage and options
  • about the different kinds of services you will want and use to maintain health and serve present medical needs and
  • about any foreseeable or predictable future medical needs such as maternity care

In defining your needs and expectations concerning hospital care

  1. Take your concern for the choice of a hospital seriously and don't apologize to yourself - or others - for your insistence in doing so. The work sheets in this guide are designed to help you focus on the qualities and services about which you care the most when it comes to a hospital choice.
  2. Review the lists of important services and quality care needs with your family. Include their priorities where you can.
  3. If possible, visit and make your choice when you are healthy. When you are ill, you are probably more tired than usual and often anxious. If you know you are going to need a hospital in the near future, try to visit the one you have selected prior to being admitted. Doing so will help reduce one of the potential stresses of illness - unfamiliar surroundings.

Hospital First? Physician First?

Many consumers choose a hospital first and then select an affiliated physician. Other people may feel more comfortable selecting a physician first and including his or her input in their hospital choice.

If you make a hospital choice first, to then select a physician you may want to use the physician referral services offered by the hospitals you have identified in your search. The four steps that follow provide

  • guidelines for finding a hospital and a physician and
  • work sheets for recording and assessing your options.