“Almost anyone who has spent time in a hospital is familiar with the mix of hope and fear that can accompany such a stay.”(*) And though it might not be a question often voiced aloud, people facing a hospital stay can’t also help but wonder if the treatment they’ll receive might be better or worse at another institution.
Information to answer those questions is readily available in other countries, but in Canada it’s buried in reports between hospitals and provincial health authorities, and is frequently more concerned with finances and cost-efficiency than on care or patient outcomes. (Not an encouraging thought.) So CBC’s Fifth Estate has taken the available data, consulted with specialists on hospital performance, and compiled a listing of more than 200 health care facilities across the country.
Rate My Hospital not only ranks the nation’s hospitals on five measures of patient care, but also includes accompanying articles on the perspectives of registered nurses and the chronic understaffing they’re having to deal with, and how effective hospitals are (or aren’t) at such basic goals as cleanliness. Site visitors are also invited to rate their own experiences in their local institutions, and a live chat allows more detailed comments and ongoing feedback.
Unfortunately, the list isn’t complete (as an example, there is no grade for the IWK Health Centre), but it’s an interesting first step.