What You Can Do to Promote Quality and Safety
As a patient, you have the right to expect the services you receive to be delivered safely and correctly every time. You also have the responsibility to actively participate in your own care. By researching health-care quality and safety information, you can make better-informed choices.
Various official agencies and special interest groups monitor the quality of medical care in the United States. Click on the links below to see a selection of reputable agencies that can provide independent information about care and data evaluating Alameda Health System.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare
Hospital Compare was created through the efforts of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), along with the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA). The HQA is a public-private collaboration established to promote reporting on hospital quality of care measures, including patient experience, process and outcomes.
Consumer Reports (requires paid subscription)
Consumer Reports now rates hospitals on measures including overall patient satisfaction, attentiveness of hospital staff, effectiveness of communication and more.
Healthgrades is one of the nation's leading health-care ratings organizations, providing ratings and profiles of hospitals, nursing homes and physicians to consumers, corporations, health plans and hospitals. Reports are available for review.
The Joint Commission
An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 15,000 health-care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality. Each organization and program has a quality report available online.
The Leapfrog Group
The Leapfrog Group, launched in 2000, is a coalition of large organizations that buy health-care services for their employees who are working to initiate breakthrough improvements in health-care safety, quality and affordability. Grades indicate compliance with process and some outcome measures.
Determine the Quality of Your Care
The quality of health care varies by provider and organization. You can compare a number of indicators as you research health care quality. Together, these indicators may serve as a helpful measure of where to find the safest, highest-quality care for your medical needs.
Hospitals, Clinics and Health Care Programs
The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization, is the nation's largest health care regulating organization. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide and reflects an organization's commitment to meeting certain performance standards. For information on accredited hospitals, certified programs and more, visit The Joint Commission Website.
Board certification is an indicator of a physician's experience and expertise in a particular specialty. To become board certified, the physician must have practiced for a certain period of time and passed a rigorous examination. We provide information about board certification in our online provider directory For more information about board certification, or to find out if a particular physician is board certified, contact the American Medical Association.
In medicine, practice matters. Research shows that patients are likely to receive better care when their physicians have more experience performing certain procedures. Hospitals may also established centers of excellence to indicate they focus extra attention on a particular area of medicine. If you have a need for a specific type of medical care, you may want to seek out a physician who has a particular interest in that area. Don't hesitate to ask doctors or hospitals about their practice volumes or years of experience.
The personal experience of other patients and their families can help you predict what your experience might be like at a particular health-care organization. Many organizations gather information from their patients and families regarding their experiences, including outcomes of care, respect of individual needs and whether or not they would refer their friends and family for care. Patient satisfaction data is available on www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov
If You Have Concerns About the Quality or Safety of Patient Care
Individuals are encouraged to contact the Patient Affairs Office with any concerns about patient care, safety, or quality. Telephone: 510-437-4108
The Patient Affairs Officer is available to assist you (the patient or your family and friends) should you have any questions or concerns about the Health System, and/or compliments for the staff. We are committed to ensuring that everyone receives quality care.
The services of the Patient Affairs Office include complaint resolution, analysis of patient satisfaction levels, and ethics referrals – if you or the staff have an ethical dilemma, we have a consultative team to assist in making the best decision in the interest of the patient.
The Patient Affairs Office is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for anyone who wishes to call or drop in to discuss concerns. The office telephone number is 510-437-4108, which also includes a 24-hour confidential voice messaging system.
Your concerns will be immediately addressed.
If you need assistance and/or your concerns are not resolved, there are other resources to assist you:
California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
1615 Capitol Ave
Sacramento, CA 95814
The Joint Commission (TJC)
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., 60181