Patient satisfaction data collected by the federal government shows that most Twin Cities hospitals could do a better job explaining new medications and preparing patients for discharge.
But compared to some of their peers across the nation, metro area hospitals had good satisfaction scores. More than a dozen earned above-average ratings for communication, attentiveness and pain management.
Dr. John Santa directs the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center which published the results online. He said most hospitals struggle with medication instructions.
"In the hospital a lot is happening," Santa said. "Lots of medicines are being started and stopped. This would be a challenge to sit down and talk briefly to patients and explain what's going on. But especially here at Consumer Reports and especially when it comes to medicines we think we need to figure out how to do that."
Santa said if patients know a hospital's weak spots, they will be more prepared to advocate for themselves.
"In terms of discharge and these new medicine issues the information here can tell you if my hospital is getting the lowest score here, I need to be assertive here and start getting organized myself," he said.
The hospital satisfaction ratings can also be found on the U.S. government's Hospital Compare Web site.