Don’t choose your hospital by your room desires…

While taking a history recently, I asked the patient why they hadn’t availed themselves of Hospital Y, where their doctors are, much closer to home.  (Usually it’s ‘we like this hospital better’, but consultants ask when called).


“They don’t have any private rooms there, so I want to be admitted here.”


I chuckled a little inside before giving my reply: ‘We’re out of space in the hospital, and if admitted you’ll be in the ED all night, or in a hallway upstairs’.  (True, we were stuffed to the gills).


So, don’t assume anything in hospitals anymore.


  1. The hospital I have privileges at (because the insurances force me to maintain admitting privileges even though I’ve reluctantly come to use the hospitalists exclusively) is expanding. Their new patient care floors will be all private rooms. Apparently, the evidence with regard to safety and infection control — in addition to patient preference — now clearly favors the private room. Decreased opportunities to give meds/treatments to the wrong roommate; infection control is much easier (turns out the curtains dividing the beds in a semi-private room were veritable breeding grounds for bacteria.) So how would you have reacted to this answer to your question: “Because there are more private rooms at this facility, you have a lower rate of medical errors and nosocomial infections.”

  2. I’m so glad you wrote that. I’m a home birth midwife and I often advise my clients that our back-up hospital should be based on the best service and reception, rather than the one with all the amentities, private L&D chef, and personal pagers for relatives.