Consumer Reports rates Tampa area hospitals - WFLA News Channel 8

Consumer Reports rates Tampa area hospitals

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Two weeks ago, a U.S. News Report rated Tampa General Hospital as one of the best in the nation.

It ranked TGH as the second best in the state and the best in the bay area. So when Consumer Reports released its findings on TGH and several other hospitals in the bay area, hospital officials were shaking their heads.

The Consumer Reports survey used federal data to analyze nearly 2,500 hospitals in all 50 states. It looked at four categories: bloodstream infections, avoiding readmissions, drug information and adverse events after surgery.

Tampa General scored in the middle for bloodstream infections, and it scored on the low end for adverse events after surgery. "Our focus does not change based on whatever survey de jour comes out," said hospital spokesman John Dunn.

Dunn says in some of these surveys, the data in incomplete or dated. "The problem with these ratings is first of all, they're grown like weeds. They have all different types of surveys. You have to look at what kind of data is being used. You have to look at how they're using it. And some surveys, hospitals pay to be included," Dunn said.

Lisa Patterson, spokeswoman for St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, echoed Dunn's comments. She says you can't compare hospitals like you compare cars or toaster ovens for that matter. St. Joe's scored in the middle for bloodstream infections and fairly in adverse events following surgery. Patterson says St. Joseph's is one of the few hospitals in the area that actually posts their ratings on their web site.

Dunn says the best advice for patients is to consult their family members or friends when it comes to selecting a hospital. You can also consult your primary care physician. "It is maybe one tool to use when looking at hospitals, but it may not be the most reliable. We tend to think that people should tend to talk to their doctors because they know them best. "

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