Tips for Choosing Your Health Care Provider

It is important to consider the answers to the following questions when deciding which health care organization to use for you and your family:

Is the health care organization part of an academic medical center?

An academic medical center (AMC) is the combination of a health care organization and a medical school and typically includes one or more schools for health-related professions, such as nursing and physical therapy. AMCs make significant investments of time, money, and effort on education, training, research, and development in addition to providing health care to their communities. Some of the benefits of choosing an AMC to provide your health care include:

  • Availability of a wider range of testing and treatment options related to the variety of medical providers and specialists who may not be available at smaller, non-academic hospitals
  • Provides patients and the community with health care for everyday needs and specialized services for complex diseases, injuries, and illnesses
  • Develops and promotes discovery and use of new health care science and technology
  • Offers the opportunity to participate in clinical trials, which is a great benefit to those with an illness or disease who have tried other treatments without success

Remember to compare apples to apples. AMCs such as UAB Medicine often provide health care for sicker and more complex patients than many smaller, non-academic medical centers and hospitals. This is important to remember when reviewing and comparing quality measures among different types of medical centers. They are not equal, so this makes it difficult to judge them fairly based on the same measurements of quality.

Is the health care organization accredited by The Joint Commission?

Accreditation is the process of being officially recognized as qualified to perform a specific activity. The Joint Commission is an independent, nonprofit organization that evaluates health care organizations against a thorough set of quality performance standards. If The Joint Commission finds that the health care organization meets or surpasses its rigorous quality standards, that organization is awarded accreditation and can be recognized as providing quality health care.

UAB Medicine is accredited by The Joint Commission. UAB Medicine also holds advanced certifications for Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center and Ventricular Assist Device with The Joint Commission. These certifications mean that UAB Medicine has been recognized as a quality provider of specialized care for stroke and heart failure.

To view The Joint Commission’s listing of Gold Seal Accredited and Certified Health Care Organizations, visit qualitycheck.org.

Does the health care organization have experience and success in treating patients with your condition?

UAB Medicine ranks among the 20 largest hospitals in the United States and cares for a wide array of medical conditions and illnesses. A few of our distinctions include:

  • 10 of UAB Medicine’s specialties ranked among the nation’s top 50 programs of their kind in the 2018-2019 Best Hospitals report from U.S. News & World Report.
  • UAB Medicine’s organ transplant program celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018, having performed over 14,000 transplants during that time.
  • UAB Medicine has the only Level 1 adult trauma center in Alabama as designated by the American College of Surgeons.
  • 5,000 new patients per year are treated at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB.
  • UAB Medicine has the only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit in Alabama.