After we posted in May on issues concerning hospital patient satisfaction surveys, the Hastings Center, a Garrison, N.Y., research institute focusing on bioethics, published its own skeptical report. The full text requires a purchase, but the abstract raises some of the same questions we addressed and brings up a few more.
“The current institutional focus on patient satisfaction and on surveys designed to assess this could eventually compromise the quality of health care while simultaneously raising its cost,” authors Alexandra Junewicz and Stuart Youngner write in Patient-Satisfaction Surveys on a Scale of 0 to 10: Improving Health Care, or Leading It Astray?
Their main worries: Continue reading
The ACA made many changes to Medicare. One of them involves linking part of hospital pay to patient satisfaction.
In an Atlantic magazine essay adapted from her new book, “The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles With the Heroes of the Hospital,” Alexandra Robbins argues that hospitals are missing the point: the way hospitals are defining, measuring and achieving patient “satisfaction” is not advancing the quality of care.
Robbins overstates that the amount of Medicare payments tied to patient satisfaction and understates the role of outcomes (more on Medicare’s Hospital Value-Based Purchasing later). But her essay is provocative and worth thinking about for those of you who cover the hospital industry or your local hospitals, and how they are changing under the Affordable Care Act. Continue reading
After the local county commission voted to close Birmingham’s Cooper Green Mercy Hospital and replace it with a hub-and-spoke system of distributed care, protesters began to rally around the institution, claiming that its closure would hit poor residents hard, and that the hospital had earned some of the highest patient satisfaction numbers in the nation.
When WBHM’s Tanya Ott heard talk of patient satisfaction ratings, she took the simple step of firing up Hospital Compare and seeing how Cooper Green stacked up against local competitors. As it happens, Cooper Green has, in recent years, lagged behind the hospitals to which its patients would likely be diverted.
So, with just a few clicks, Ott, who posted the Hospital Compare charts directly into her story, brought important context to a contentious local issue. For more on how to use this and other tools to evaluate local hospitals, see AHCJ’s Hospital Compare resources.