Here’s the NY Times Health Blog’s Take:
Many hospital patients are dissatisfied with some aspects of their care and might not recommend their hospitals to friends and relatives, the federal government said Friday as it issued ratings for most of the nation’s hospitals, based on the first uniform national survey of patients.
The survey was meant to provide a constructive way for patients to complain about arrogant doctors, crabby nurses and dirty or noisy hospital rooms. Medical experts said that some of the complaints bore directly on the quality of care.
Many patients reported that they had not been treated with courtesy and respect by doctors and nurses; that they had not received adequate pain medication after surgery; and that they did not understand the instructions they received when discharged from the hospital.
Nationwide, in the average hospital, 67 percent of patients said they would definitely recommend the institution where they had been treated to friends and relatives. Sixty-three percent gave their hospitals a score of 9 or 10 on a scale of 0 to 10.
and the Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog entry on the same topic:
Quick: Which of your local hospitals treats patients best? And how does it compare with facilities in the next town?
You’d have been out of luck getting much of an answer in most parts of the country until now. But this afternoon, Mike Leavitt, secretary of Health and Human Services, unveiled the addition of patient satisfaction data to Medicare’s three-year-old Hospital Compare Web site. The changes are part of a continuing effort by HHS to improve the measurement of health quality and, in the process, to spur better care.
“We’re not very good at this, but we’re making a lot of progress,” Leavitt conceded to a room packed with reporters and editors attending the annual meeting of the Association of Health Care Journalists outside Washington. In a video game analogy, Leavitt added, “We are just leaving the Pong era when it comes to measuring quality.”
The 10 new data points– including how clean and quiet patients found the joint, whether medical staff listened and communicated well, and how well the facility treated patients’ pain — join some 26 quality measures already on the site. HHS is also moving some data on Medicare’s cost to treat a number of conditions, and the volume of procedures done, here from elsewhere on its site. All of it will be hospital-specific, with local, state and national comparisons.
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