Aging Parents, US News Best Hospitals 2012-2013 and 5 Reasons to Consider Them

It’s July.  US News & World Report comes out with its “Best Hospitals” issue once again. Topping the list with the most specialties ranking #1 in the country: Massachusetts General (above) in Boston. It replaces Johns Hopkins in Baltimore which becomes #2.

In the Geriatrics specialty category Johns Hopkins replaces Mt. Sinai in NY as #1. Mt. Sinai becomes #2.

17 hospitals nationwide make the “Honor Roll” because they have the most number of high-ranking specialties: Granted, rankings have their shortcomings and there are many fine hospitals serving all parts of the country. (Note 148 hospitals have a #1 ranking in one specialty area…here’s how these rankings work)

5 reasons to consider the best hospitals’ specialties
to help aging parents

1. Approximately the same time is involved, be it for procedures done in excellent hospitals or less than excellent hospitals; with excellent doctors or less excellent doctors. Only the outcomes may be different.

2. When quality of life is at risk, the more experienced the hospital and medical professionals are (the more times they’ve done your parents’ needed procedure) the better the odds to have encountered–and handled well–unexpected problems.

3. Older people don’t bounce back so quickly. Patients lose independence in hospitals. It’s important they gain the confidence to feel some control. Ideally professionals working in the best hospitals’ specialties departments should have done “it” (what ever your parents’ medical situation is), worked with “it,” handled “it”–over and over and over.  Thus, they can instill confidence in you and your parents based on countless experiences with the expected and unexpected.

4. It takes hard work to recover well from certain procedures.  The skill of the professionals in the follow-up is a significant factor in hastening recovery and instilling a positive outlook. Elderly parents need to do whatever is necessary to move forward so the hospital experience doesn’t take then down a notch.

5. And yet–there are emergencies when we do what we must in a hurry. And there are times when we know the decisions we make are crucial and we may get only one chance to do it right. But even then, the professionals in the best hospitals can come to the rescue.

If a particular hospital has been a Godsend for aging parents, please communicate that–either in COMMENT below or CONTACT above. Indeed Karen’s comment about her mother’s need of more expert help and her experience with a geriatrician at Mt. Sinai is heartening––just what we’d hope for as we try to help parents age well.

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