What You Need to Know About Hospital and Physician Selection
by S. Terry Kraus, M.D.
“How do I know that the hospital I select for cancer treatment is a good choice?”
Do your homework and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Marketing campaigns may appeal on an emotional level with “Miraculous!” testimonials, and they may focus on the center’s state of the art equipment. You should also look for quality assurances!
A good cancer treatment center will offer services, such as:
- Cancer Screening Programs
- Smoking Cessation Programs
- Support Groups
- Pain Management Control Clinics
- Social Service Support
- Clinical studies in which one can participate
The cancer unit should be accredited by the Commission on Cancer, American College of Surgeons. For a unit to get accredited and stay accredited, all levels of competency and every detail of its program are carefully reviewed by the American College of Surgeons. To read more about this process, do an internet search for “ACOS accreditation of the hospital.”
The American Cancer Society has excellent worksheets that I urge you to read and use. They can be found on the American Cancer
Society website under “Finding Cancer Treatment Centers.”
Listen to Dr. Kraus’s podcast about how to choose a cancer hospital
“How do I know that the physician I select for cancer treatment is a good choice?”
Some of the things to consider are:
- Is the physician compassionate?
- Does the physician listen to his or her patients?
- Will I receive the physician’s full attention?
- Do I feel comfortable asking questions, and are questions answered appropriately?
- Do I have good understanding of my illness?
- Is the physician board certified in this specialty?
Treatment recommendations, outcomes, side effects and complications, duration, and costs are all of concern and need to be addressed.
A word of caution: Some of these questions might not be able to be answered until a further workup is accomplished.
There is no such thing as a dumb question and rapport is a crucial part of your care. But is trust all that matters? No, it is not. It is also about the skill and professionalism of the physician and the hospital. Competency is key.
Listen to Dr. Kraus’s podcast about how to choose a cancer doctor
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Originally published in Senior Living Magazine. Click here to read the original article.