Though different people use the word quality to mean very different things when referring to health care (cutting edge technology, no waiting, individualized treatment, extensive choices, etc.), clinical quality health care means a very specific thing, which is that the health care patients receive treats their condition(s) effectively.
The New Jersey Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) makes a point of evaluating hospitals throughout the state for how well they provide clinical quality health care. Its 2009 Hospital Performance Report not only compares New Jersey care with care in other states, it compares New Jersey hospitals to one another, to see how well each performed in different areas.
When it comes to patient safety, it’s important to note New Jersey ’s record: doctors, nurses and other health care staff committed 9,381 preventable medical errors in 2007. Sixty-three times, a foreign object was left inside a patient’s body after surgery. (The expected number is zero.) Doctors and health care workers caused preventable injury to more than 900 women during a vaginal birth requiring forceps or other instruments.
To find out more about New Jersey hospitals and protecting yourself as a patient, you can visit DHSS’s website here.