On March 3, 2009, the State of São Paulo Health Secretariat, Brazil, recognized, for the first time, the top ten public general hospitals and top five maternity hospitals, according to the opinion of Unified Health System (SUS) users. A total of 60,200 patients, who had been cared for at 500 public or affiliated philanthropic hospitals, were asked to complete questionnaires, sent November–December 2007 and April–June 2008. The chosen hospitals received top scores from more than 100 respondents. The initiative, called “SUS-evaluation,” was established to monitor quality of care and satisfaction, recognize services providing a high level of attention to clients, and increase efficient health management in the public system. Patients were asked about their level of satisfaction with health professionals, accommodations, waiting time, and overall care. For maternity hospitals, there were questions on humanization of care during delivery.
The maternity hospital voted best was Hospital da Mulher–CAISM (Centro de Atenção Integral à Saúde da Mulher), State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, São Paulo. The Obstetrics Division Director is 2003 FAIMER Institute Fellow and Co-Director of the Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute (Brazil-FRI), Eliana Amaral.
Among the ten best general hospitals, the second highest rated was Hospital das Clínicas de Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, where Brazil-FAIMER Regional Institute Associate Director and 2006 FAIMER Institute Fellow Valdes Bollela is an Outpatient Clinic Manager. Also affiliated with the hospital are FAIMER faculty member Luis Ernesto Troncon and 2007 Brazil-FRI Fellow Juan Stuardo Yazlle Rocha, both Professors at the Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto.
The third most highly rated hospital in this category was the Hospital das Clínicas – Unidade Materno Infantil, which is affiliated with the Faculdade de Medicina de Marília, São Paulo. Brazil-FRI Associate Director and 2006 FAIMER Institute Fellow Paulo Marcondes Carvalho and 2008 Brazil-FRI Fellow Carlos Alberto Lazarini are Assistant Professors at the Faculdade de Medicina.
According to the São Paulo State Secretary of Health, Dr. Luiz Roberto Barradas Barata, “The SUS in São Paulo is very proud of these hospitals, and the ones who recognized the institutions as the best are the users themselves. This evaluation strategy was fundamental to know what has been done for hospital care and what needs to be improved. It has become an extremely important management tool.”