Should Orlando Hospital Ratings Affect Your Healthcare Decisions?

Apart from being known as one of the most fun and exciting vacation destinations in the world, central Florida is also home to some of the best hospitals regionally, as well as nationwide.  And Orlando hospital ratings are some of the best out of all ratings across the United States. According to the 2016 Best Hospital Rankings by US News, Orlando Regional Medical Center ranks nationally in 5 pediatric specialties, number 11 regionally; while Florida Hospital is ranked regionally at number 6 among hospitals in the state with marks for high performance in 9 adult conditions and procedures.

The Rankings report also mentioned several other area hospitals as high performing in multiple conditions and procedures.

Orlando Hospital Ratings and Their Effect on Patient Choices

When it comes to choosing a hospital or doctor, more and more patients are looking at online reviews to help them make a decision. Whether they anecdotally ask their Facebook friends for a recommendation or browse various sites for Orlando hospital ratings, there are a number of ways for potential patients to use the World Wide Web to screen hospitals in Orlando, or any other city in the United States, for that matter.

According to recent research that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a large number of patients know that there is a wealth of information available to them on the Internet. Two-thirds of people surveyed in the US were aware that there were health reviews available online, and nearly a quarter of them had actually used these websites within the past year to find information that they needed.

Out of those people who have used the sites, 35% chose a doctor because of the suitable rating they received, which is not all that special since a doctor may have received better reviews if they gave out a toy to a child or a bottle of water to the patient when they left, which could skew the responses from patients. Perhaps a doctor is nicer than others or tells jokes to his patients – none of this means they are better doctors than others who do not do these things. The reverse was true as well: 37% did not use a doctor with a bad rating.

Decisions are Influenced by Access

It is clear that the information that patients get from the Internet about hospitals and doctors directly impacts the decisions that they make when it comes to their healthcare. This is why it is vital that hospitals know exactly what is being posted online about their health system and their healthcare providers.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have made recent efforts to make data on hospital quality and pricing more accessible to patients via the Internet. It is even more paramount for any hospital to be displayed in a positive light on the web.

How to Turn Negative Reviews Around

Hospitals and doctors cannot control everything that people post about them online, but they do have the power to change some things – such as the perception that patients might get from bad reviews on the Internet.

If a hospital or one of its doctors receives a negative review online, there are a few ways to respond to help ensure that the hospital maintains a positive image. A few tips can help such hospitals respond to a negative review in the best way, including the following:

  • Let the review teach a lesson: Even if hospitals dispute the truthfulness of the review, negative comments from past patients are an excellent opportunity for them to examine their protocol and policies for patient to see if they need to correct any issues.
  • Do not respond publicly: Unless it is absolutely necessary, hospitals should avoid responding to negative comments publicly. A hospital representative may wish to reach out privately to disgruntled patients to address any issues or concerns they have, but posting a public response online is not always a good idea. However, if dissatisfied patients make particularly outrageous claims, it may be appropriate to make a professional public response that reiterates the official policy of the hospital toward similar situations.
  • Fight fake reviews: Claims of false reviews are taken very seriously by online review sites. If there seems to be an untruthful criticism online, the hospital in question may want to report it to the administrator of the website and make requests to get the offending review removed as soon as possible.

You cannot prevent people from posting negative reviews, but there are several ways that a hospital can turn them around and make improvements to prevent other negative reviews from being posted online. The hospital can make sure that it is on the list of those with positive Orlando hospital ratings.

Hospital Errors and Medical Malpractice

If a patient has not received the standard of care required of every hospital, it can give rise to a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit. Hospital errors are the cause of countless injuries and deaths each year. Some common hospital errors include:

  • Failure to keep accurate records, resulting in patient mismanagement
  • Incorrect medication dosing
  • Failure to monitor patients properly
  • Abuse of patients by hospital employees
  • Poor employee hygiene
  • Failure to properly disinfect hospital rooms, diagnostic tools, surgical instruments, etc.

When a patient is harmed due to hospital error, the hospital becomes liable, or responsible, for any damages that the patient sustains. Damages can include medical bills (past, present, and future), out-of-pocket expenses for nursing care, medications, etc., lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more. In extreme cases of complete disregard for the patient’s safety and well-being or intentional infliction of bodily harm, punitive damages may be rewarded.

Get the Best Legal Assistance for Medical Malpractice Cases

If you or a loved one has been harmed or injured due to the negligence of a hospital or its staff, you should immediately contact a medical malpractice attorney to help you take legal action. At Badgley Law Group, we offer world-class legal services to provide the expertise you need to ensure a successful medical malpractice case.

We have the knowledge, skill, and acumen to protect your rights and make sure that you recover maximum damages that you are entitled to by law. Our goal at Badgley Law Group is to make sure to use the best strategies to win your case. Call us at 407-781-0420 for a free consultation today.

Additional Reading:

Preventative Medical Errors are On the Rise: How to Protect Yourself and When to File a Medical Malpractice Claim

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