Mercy Heart & Vascular Center
No one has a more vested interest in your health than you. When choosing a doctor, surgeon or specialist take the time you need to find someone you can trust and with whom you can communicate comfortably. When choosing a hospital, you want to gather as many facts as possible to make sure that you make the right decision on where to receive your care. Use the following tips, questions, considerations, and resources to ensure you are comfortable with your choice of facility and your heart or vascular physician or surgeon. Consider
What are some of the most important qualities and services you want in a hospital, doctor or surgeon? You may want to find a healthcare partner who:
- Has significant experience in his or her field, has extensive training and is board-certified
- Has experience using the most advanced technology in the field to treat your condition
- Has office space located conveniently to your home or office
- Uses technology in the office to expedite your care experience (i.e. will communicate by email, provides online appointment times, keeps electronic health records)
- Accepts your insurance plan
- Has privileges to practice at the hospital you most prefer or is the most convenient to your home or office
- How many of the same procedures has the physician/hospital performed in the past year?
- What was the success rate for those procedures?
- What factors most affect the success rate?
- During the past year, what has been done to improve the technique and outcomes of this procedure?
You can compile a list of possible doctors, specialists or surgeons by:
- Checking with your current health insurance plan • Asking your current physician
- Asking your family members, neighbors, co-workers, or friends if they would recommend their doctor
- Asking your nearby hospital for a list of doctors that have privileges at their facility and whom they would recommend
- Using online services to find board-certified specialists. You can check on your doctor's specialty credentials at the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) website.
Learn more about your physician through the American Medical Association's (AMA)
Doctor Finder website tool Check for independent feedback on your possible physicians on websites like Healthgrades.com
, or the U.S. Government website for Medicare offers an online Physician Compare
To obtain and understand the detailed information needed to make an accurate assessment of our hospital and facilities review our Quality and Ourcomes
information. There are also other online resources available to you to research hospitals, such as HealthGrades
and Hospital Compare
You should set up an appointment to meet with any prospective doctors. When you meet with him or her bring a small notebook and jot down a few questions that you would like to ask. Questions may include:
- Are you board certified in your specialty?
- How many patients have you treated with my condition and how recently was your last case?
- What have your patient outcomes been?
- How long have you worked with this practice?
- How long can I expect to have to wait for an appointment?
- Will you answer questions by email or personal appointment only?
- Will I only work with you or should I expect to also be seen by your partners?
- Who would I see if you are out of town or not available?
- Can I get my lab work or x-rays done here or would I need to go to another office?
- What are the most common complications you have seen in cases like mine?
- What is the common recovery process?
- Will you involve residents or medical surgeons in my procedure?
- At which hospitals do you have privileges? Having privileges means that your doctor/surgeon has permission to practice medicine there.
- Which other local surgeons do you think highly of?