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Quantifying Patient Care

Many service industries in the US require surveys on consumer satisfaction. It is even becoming more commonplace for these surveys to be given to employees to help improve working conditions. However only recently have these surveys being used in the health care industry.

According to a new results in a study conducted by Dr. Ashish Jha, a Harvard health policy researcher, many hospitals fall short in the patient’s eye especially when managing pain, communications and clear discharge instructions. Overall patients were fine with their care, but there was plenty of room for improvements.

The data analyzed was collected by the federal government and was a required survey if hospitals wanted to get payment increases in Medicare rates. What is interesting is that this type of information collection was never done before.

I don’t think hospitals never cared before how their patient care was- I’m sure each hospital chain had its own internal survey, but they never made those numbers public. By having a required survey by the government opens up this system to standardization, ranking, and publicly known results.

All of these could help improve patient care.

Article can be found at: http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE49S8YF20081029