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New Hospital, Better Healing? Maybe Not.

When you’re injured in a car accident you probably want to be treated at the newest, most cutting edge hospital in your area. But a recent survey of patients at Johns Hopkins Medical Center says that the frills may not help you as much as you thought.

Hospital executives and patients alike have assumed for years that better facilities are better for patient care. In particular, executives assumed that better facilities translated into better patient reviews. They used that assumption to justify expensive building and renovation projects.

The 2012 addition to the Johns Hopkins Medical Center gave Dr. Zishan Siddiqui a unique opportunity to test that assumption. The hospital built a new tower with 355 beds, which is used for neurology, cardiology, radiology, and other specialty units. Other patients still received treatment in the hospital’s decades-old Sheikh Zayed Tower.

Siddiqui compared patients’ responses to Medicare-mandated surveys and brought in a consulting company to add private surveys to the list. Much to hospital executives’ surprise, patients in the new wing didn’t report any improvement in the clinical care they received in the new tower compared to the old tower.

While patients ranked the new tower highly on cleanliness, quiet, pleasantness, and comfort, they didn’t have such rave reviews of the doctors, nurses, and staff. Even though newer buildings allow for organized nursing stations and private rooms, that organization did not seem to positively affect hospital staff’s ability to communicate with and serve the patients.

If you have a choice of hospital following an auto accident or other serious injury, don’t get wooed by attractive new buildings. Instead, look at services provided, staff expertise, and patient reviews. Make sure your hospital is the right one to treat your injury. In particular, if you have received a concussion or head injury, be sure that your hospital has a brain trauma center to diagnose and treat your injury right away.

David Christensen is an auto accident lawyer at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He and his team help their clients get insurance benefits to cover the best treatment for their injuries so they can focus on recovery. If you or someone you know have been in a serious auto accident, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.