Big-name hospitals in the United States aren't always the best when it comes to surgery, according to a new report.
The Consumer Reports team analyzed federal government data to assess patient outcomes after surgery at nearly 2,500 hospitals. When it came to preventing infection and other measures of quality of care, some well-known hospitals did not always do well, while some big-city hospitals that care for the poorest and sickest patients did surprisingly well, NBC News reported.
For example, the poorest overall rating was given to Harvard Medical School-associated Brigham and Women's Hospital and to two of Washington D.C.'s flagship hospitals, MedStar Washington Hospital Center and Sibley Memorial Hospital. Johns Hopkins Hospital received an average rating.
On the other hand, top ratings were given to urban hospitals such as the Greater Baltimore Medical Center and NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, along with some regional facilities such as Nebraska Heart Hospital in Lincoln, NBC News reported.
"Consumers have very little to go on when trying to select a hospital for surgery, not knowing which ones do a good job at keeping surgery patients safe and which ones don't," Lisa McGiffert, director of Consumers Union's Safe Patient Project, said in a news release. "They might as well just throw a scalpel at a dartboard."
While it's a good idea to provide patients with information about the quality of surgical care provided at hospitals, the data used in this report is flawed, Dr. Peter Pronovost, senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Johns Hopkins, told NBC News.