Debate: Should Canadians be able to rank hospital care?

Canadians will now be able to rate the quality of care in their own hospitals using a new interactive tool


Canadians will now be able to rate the quality of care in their own hospitals using a new interactive tool called ‘Rate My Hospital. Launched by CBC’s the fifth estate, the tool will allow users to give feedback using a five-star rating scale in the following areas: overall recommendation; cleanliness of the hospital; communication with the staff; courteous and respectful treatment; and timely care.

The ranking system is subjective though. A good hospital experience for one person might be a poor experience in another person’s opinion.

In response to the launch of ‘Rate My Hospital,’ Ontario Hospital Association President and CEP Pat Campbell issued a statement voicing concern about the project and the way information will be used.

“We are very concerned about the fifth estate’s ‘Rate My Hospital’ project, specifically, that Canadians will use the flawed information contained in it to make decisions about where and when to receive hospital care without the advice of knowledgeable medical professionals.

We urge every Canadian who believes they need immediate medical care should seek it at their nearest possible hospital, and to also discuss their health care needs fully with their medical professionals,” she wrote.

On another note: the fifth estate has done their own investigation into Canadian hospitals, and recently released a report card identifying the top 10 hospitals in the country. Hospitals in Alberta, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan are represented in the top 10 list. (Find out where your local hospital ranks.)

While I like the idea of a grading system for Canadian hospitals to ensure progress and accountability, I’m not sure a user-review system is the most responsible way to do this’especially if it impacts a person’s willingness to seek out care.

Will you use this tool? Would a poorly rated hospital prompt you to seek care elsewhere?

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