When it comes to selecting a care facility, you may think it’s as easy as bringing up a Google search and selecting the one closest to you. While that might work for you and your family, remember that not all healthcare facilities are created equally. Referrals, patient reviews, and overall quality are all important factors. When it comes to choosing the right care facility for your family, here are a few ways to narrow down your list.
Know Your Priorities
When you picture your ideal care facility, what does it look like? Are you focused on the warm, welcoming atmosphere? Are you imagining being surrounded by supportive, friendly staff that has the answers to all of your medical questions? Or are you seeing a trustworthy primary care physician who has a great reputation amongst their colleagues? Creating a list of wants is a great start to the selection process.
On the other hand, you should also have a concept of what you don’t want in a facility. Having a list of deal-breakers makes it that much easier to whittle down your selection. There are plenty of reasons to say no to a facility. For example, if it isn’t within your insurance network and you’re unable to pay out of pocket costs, it’s not a good fit. The same goes for an online search bringing up a bevy of complaints about the facility.
Generally positive reviews are likely already on your list of desirable traits in a care facility. After all, why wouldn’t you go somewhere with a solid reputation and great consumer feedback? Likewise, you certainly wouldn’t visit a doctor’s office with two stars and overwhelmingly negative reviews. General review sites are a fine starting point for figuring out doctors and physicians but visiting specialized medical review sites provides more detailed information on how the facility operates.
It’s a bit trickier when it comes to hospital reviews. While reviews of a doctor’s office focus on provider-patient interactions more often than not, hospital reviews tend to focus on specifics of the facility, many of which are subjective. First, you need to find a site that rates based on all of your desired criteria. Looking for specific information on hospital safety records but you’re browsing a site that doesn’t compile that data? It’s probably time to find a different platform.
There are several comprehensive platform that are dedicated to providing a more transparent hospital review site. If you’re having a hard time settling on one of these, see whether your chosen hospital is rated by any government, regulatory, or consumer boards as these typically provide a fairly unbiased look at the facility.
So you’ve done it. You’ve finished your research, you called several facilities, and you finally set up your first appointment. The day of your appointment, you sit in the lobby filling out paperwork. That’s when it strikes you: Something feels off. The receptionist was a touch unfriendly and when you finally met with your new physician, it felt as if they rushed through your appointment, almost like they didn’t have enough time for you.
Often, it feels difficult to justify dislike as reason enough to switch providers or facilities. A majority of medical professionals feel otherwise and many feel that your relationship with your provider has a direct impact on your well-being. Choose a facility with your mind but also your gut. Even if it’s a simple feeling of dislike, it’s probably time to get back to researching.
It’s Your Choice
At the end of the day, no matter where you seek care or who you end up seeing, the final choice rests with you. Remember, you don’t have any obligations to a particular facility. Trust your instincts and the information available to find the best fit for your health care needs. When it comes to your well-being, you know better than anyone else.