How 3 patient groups view healthcare quality: 6 things to know

The nonpartisan Public Agenda conducted a study to gauge how three groups — people recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, people who recently had a joint replacement and women who recently gave birth — view healthcare quality and value.

The study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, examines three nationally representative surveys — one for each group. Each survey included more than 400 adults who were either diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, had a joint replacement or gave birth at a hospital between July 2013 and October 2016. All surveys took place in October 2016.

Here are six things to know from the study.

1. Survey respondents in all three groups said interpersonal qualities of physicians and hospitals as well as clinical qualities are important for high-quality care.

2. In the type 2 diabetes and birth groups, a greater number or respondents rate interpersonal qualities as "very important," compared to the number of respondents who rate clinical qualities as "very important." Most respondents in the joint replacement group rate both interpersonal and clinical qualities as "very important."

3. The study found most respondents in the three groups said they had "some" or "a lot" of choice among physicians. However, Public Agenda said fewer respondents in the joint replacement and birth groups reported having only one hospital to choose from.

4. More respondents across the three groups spent time finding out information about the care they needed than about physicians or hospitals providing them services, the study found. Few people knew or tried to determine if a physician or hospital had the clinical qualities that they view as important.

5. Public Agenda said few respondents in the three groups know quality varies or that price varies for physicians or for hospitals.

6. About 50 percent of respondents in the three groups said there is sufficient quality information available, while fewer respondents said there is sufficient price information available.

Read the full study here.


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