Why India needs a hospital rating system…

  When was the last time you visited a hospital? Maybe it was to visit a relative or


When was the last time you visited a hospital? Maybe it was to visit a relative or get some tests done. maybe you required medical attention?

But during your visit, did you rate the hospital ? I mean did you give feedback to the management or an independent body on the services offered by the hospital?

In 2003 I had a very interesting experience with a large hospital in New Delhi, India. My mother was undergoing an angiography and she had been admitted to the hospital in the morning. I was visiting her in the hospital and was not aware that not more than 2 visitors were allowed at the same time. The guards at the lift did not allow me to get into the life and not explanation was given to me. When I went to see the Hospital Administrator about it, he shrugged it off and said that was the rule. I lodged a formal complaint on the treatment but this the hospital never responded to me.

Later in the evening i saw an Indian politician accompanied by more than 50 people come in for a check up at the same hospital. Needless to say all 50 were allowed to accompany the gentleman.

The incident left a very bad impression on me and from then I started my own system of evaluating hospitals. I pulled in attributes cleanliness, Attitude of the staff, convenience and other factors in my evaluation. I believe it is not only the capabilities of the doctors that makes a hospital successful. There are many other factors and they have to be rated as well.

 A few days ago I came across a site dedicated to rating hospitals in the US. The site is called Rate my Hospital .com. What is unique about the site is that the rating is done by patients and their relatives and it is intended to educate other patients about the features of hospitals that the patients found very engaging. Some interesting criteria include Environment friendliness, Billing process, Wait times, Communication and amenities. There are almost 17 criteria and its ends with a choice for the patient to write a recommendation for the hospital.

I think we in India need a similar system. Often corporate hospitals hide their incompetency in serving the customers behind their rows of structured glass.

Please let me know your views and experiences on dealing with Hospitals. Do you think a rating system would help counter some of the challenges that patients in India ?



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