If you have a heart attack, you can’t always pick the hospital. But if there’s time, research can help. Here are three ways to do it.
1) Discerning patients look first at how many heart procedures – bypasses, stents and valve operations – a hospital performs. Busier places tend to have better care, experts say. That’s because surgeons often get better with practice.
2) Other important questions are how many heart attack patients die or get readmitted after 30 days. The federal government uses these risk-adjusted measures to compare hospital performance; and we offer them here.
3) The site presents surveys, showing what patients think about of their hospital experiences. While less scientific, this information can put a human face on care.