5 thoughts on healthcare consumer presentation from Rose Rohloff

Patient experience scores — used by CMS' rating systems — are often derived from a public not well versed in consumer perception of the quality of care delivery, healthcare consumerism speaker Rose Rohloff says.

research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine claimed patient satisfaction-based ratings are associated with patient outcomes, but a recently released study from Quantros disagreed, saying the letter's findings are misleading and may lead patients toward poor clinical outcomes.

Ms. Rohloff, a 35-year healthcare veteran with experience in nursing, business and information systems, spoke with Becker's Hospital Review about providing consumers with more detailed evaluation of quality care delivery.

Here are five thoughts on consumer perception education from Ms. Rohloff. 

1. Patient experience is different than patient engagement. Ms. Rohloff says patients often feel they are being treated well because their providers frequently check in and ask about pain levels. The experience is often equated with being polite and the hospital environment, whereas engagement is involving clinical assessment and planning. When patients receive health information from their clinicians, Ms. Rohloff says it should be specific and detailed. She says clinicians should stray from words like "low" and "high" when informing patients of levels and provide actual numbers with trending and impact.

2. There is a focus on big data rather than population health. Ms. Rohloff claims that individuals are lost when focusing on big data. Population health needs to be about individuals' quality of life. "I want to live a quality of life for me … that may mean I'm 82, still going out and biking. Or I get up and go out and play golf. What's my quality of life? Being consumer centric is not about submitted grouped demographic statistics," she says.

3. A concise definition of population health is needed. Ms. Rohloff says population health and patient engagement are often defined as separate entities, to which she asks, "How do we achieve population health without patient engagement?" She defines population health as people working in partnership with health providers, advocates and educators to maintain quantifiably agreed upon quality of life outcomes.

4. Consumers should be empowered. She says rapid growth of large health systems has distanced those entities from the individual person. "People need to be empowered to be in charge of their own healthcare," she says.

5. Health systems should use population health and patient engagement reviews as a solution. Ms. Rohloff sees population health and patient engagement reviews as a core, ground-level solution. "It's about getting down to the micro because each individual consumer is important," she says. This means health systems educating their consumers in a way that lowers readmission rates and remains transparent in sharing recorded quality indicators, Ms. Rohloff says. 

This article was updated at 11:34 a.m. CST to reflect clarifications from Ms. Rohloff. 

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