People in need of hospital care in West Virginia want to be sure the hospital they choose is professional, clean, and up to the standard of care they require. No two hospitals are the same. Some have entire departments dedicated to specialized procedures, treatments, and fields of study. Patients with rare or extremely complicated medical conditions often need to travel long distances to find a doctor with the right qualifications.
Some hospitals will allow doctors to perform operations even if they lack the required skill set. This decision comes at great risk to the patient despite whether such a doctor succeeds. Most hospitals will turn a patient away if they do not have staff capable of effectively treating the patient’s condition. It’s vital for patients with complicated medical issues to seek treatment at a hospital capable of handling their needs with competent staff.
Best West Virginia Hospitals
U.S. News ranks American hospitals every year based on an array of objective data points. Generally, hospitals achieve their ranks based on patient death rates, patient safety, cleanliness, and various other measurable factors. Surveyors also ask questions of physicians about the hospitals where they work and which hospitals they would recommend for specific conditions. Hospitals’ specializations also factor into national rankings. Subsequently, hospitals with accomplished doctors who specialize in several areas of medicine or with specific treatments tend to rank higher than others.
Out of the 65 hospitals in West Virginia, three rank within the top 50 hospitals on U.S. News’ national rankings:
- Charleston Medical Center. The top-ranked hospital in the state is in Charleston, WV. This hospital does not hold a national rank in any specialty, but it maintains the highest patient safety scores and standard of care of any hospital in the state. The hospital also achieved the highest possible ratings in seven different procedures and condition treatments.
- West Virginia University Hospitals. This Morgantown, WV hospital is nationally ranked as #26 in urology and is high-performing in cancer treatment and nephrology.
- St. Mary’s Medical Center. The third-best hospital in West Virginia is in Huntington. St. Mary’s Medical Center is high-performing in several procedures and practice areas, including colon cancer surgery, heart failure treatment, and hip and knee replacement surgeries despite not being nationally ranked for any specialties.
Know Your Rights
Patients with specific medical conditions need to know their doctors possess the skills to treat them and uphold an acceptable “standard of care.” In the medical field, “standard of care” refers to the generally accepted level of patient care a specific treatment requires. A new surgeon attempting a procedure for the first time on a patient in critical condition probably cannot meet the standard of care in this situation, for example.
People in West Virginia should seek medical care at hospitals they trust. These three hospitals top the ranks in the state. It’s also imperative that patients know their rights. Any doctor who performs a procedure without the requisite training or experience puts the patient at risk and commits medical malpractice if the attempt results in patient harm.
If you suspect an injury, illness, or new medical condition is the result of substandard hospital care, speak with a West Virginia medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Doctors and hospital staff have a moral and legal obligation to their patients to do no harm, and patients can potentially experience catastrophic damages from negligent healthcare professionals.