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Hospital ratings: website lets patients compare French health centres

The online tool grades quality and safety of care so patients can identify the best facilities, but a nursing union has concerns

French hospital ratings

Paris’ Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital shows a B (grading with recommended improvement). Different patient feedback is 73 and 80 Pic: Screenshot: HAS

A new health authority website has been launched to allow people to compare the quality of every healthcare facility in the country.

Compare hospital and health centre ratings

The QualiScope tool is available on the Haute Autorité de santé (HAS) website and features an interactive map and search function allowing users to compare hospitals and other health centres in the local area.

Patients can compare up to four facilities at a time, looking at factors such as patient satisfaction and risk of infection.

Residents might find the service useful when choosing a hospital or deciding between public and private care.

How evaluations work

Establishments are evaluated according to two main metrics.

The first is the ‘Certification for the quality and safety of the care’, an external evaluation undertaken by the HAS. Facilities are given a letter grade, from A (certified with no improvements recommended) to D (not certified).

Infographics display further letter grades for specific areas, including how well the risk of infection is managed, and care given to patients in areas such as endoscopy and radiotherapy.

See patient scores

The second metric stems from patient questionnaires and provides ratings out of 100 for ‘Medicine, surgery and obstetrics’ and/or ‘Outpatient surgery’, depending on the establishment.

You will also find the breakdown of these results, with ratings for specific areas, including satisfaction with the care, the room and meals, as well as the overall percentage of patients who would recommend the facility.

Finally, the website indicates the frequency of complications, such as infection following hip or knee replacement surgery.

Nursing union not convinced

Thierry Amouroux, spokesman for nursing union SNPI, said providing information on care is a good idea but questioned the methodology used. 

“It’s good to ask patients their opinion but in an interview, not a questionnaire,” he said.

“Health magazines already publish rankings. The role of the HAS is to assess quality using objective data.”

He added that there was a risk patients would flock to the highest-rated hospitals, often CHUs – Centres hospitaliers universitaires, with links to a university – leading to long waiting lists and delayed treatments. 

“If you go to the CHU 200km away, you will also see fewer relatives, which can have an impact on the care.”

The HAS has said the site will feature additional quality indicators from next January.

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