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Characteristics of a Quality Hospital/Doctor Team

We recommend that you think about the experience of your surgeon or your hospital when you choose a team to care for you. Most providers do not tell us whether or not their care works or is safe with a scientific certainty. Since we do not have good information about whether or not care by one team works better than care by another team, we tend to look at experience. Researchers have found that surgeons and teams that do heart surgery more often have better results. Researchers differ on how much difference each additional 100 operations might make. There is no universal agreement on what is to few operations with any type of surgery.

A national patient safety group, called The Leap Frog Group also has recommendations.


  1. You always have a right to ask about the safety and success of care you are looking for.
  2. You always have a right  to ask a surgeon about how difficult the operation might be and how often she or he might do the operation.
  3. You always have a right to ask hospitals about their complication rates for your specific surgery or treatment.
  4. You always have a right and an obligation to ask who might be able to help you and your doctor if something goes wrong.

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