SOUTHWEST FLORIDA - Hospitals are supposed to make you better, not worse. But, a brand new report shows that's not always the case.
Consumer Reports scored nearly 2,600 hospitals around the country on a 100-point scale. They scored hospitals in five categories: death, infection, readmission rates, overuse of CT scans and communication.
The national average is only 51 out of 100. The top hospital in the country, in Maine, got a 78. The lowest, in Mississippi, got an 11.
So, how did we do locally? Fawcett Memorial in Port Charlotte scored the highest with a 59. According to the report, it's good at avoiding infections and deaths. But, it falls below the national average with communication.
NCH was next with 58, followed by Lee Memorial at 49.
Gulf Coast Medical Center got the lowest score locally with a 37. Its communication was rated strong. But, it scored lower than the national average because of blood and surgical infections and readmission rates.
We asked the hospitals what they think of the system. Alexandria French, Fawcett Memorial's Director of Marketing & Public Relations told WINK News, "The combination of quality-related and patient experience-related recognitions from multiple third-party agencies illustrates Fawcett Memorial Hospital's dedication to excellence. Our team strives to deliver safe, proven and innovative care each and every day and it's an honor to be recognized as a leader in quality care."
Lee Memorial Health System spokesperson Mary Briggs said, "Hospital ranking reports offer useful information in choosing a hospital, but there are a dozen different ones out there and none of them can paint a complete picture of the care that is delivered."
"One rating system we particularly recommend is Healthgrades, which earlier this year recognized HealthPark Medical Center and Lee Memorial Hospital as among America's 50 Best hospitals. In addition to looking at rankings, we suggest that people get the recommendations of their physician and their friends when choosing a hospital. "
You can learn more about these rankings at: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/05/survive-your-hospital-stay/index.htm