PATIENT SATISFACTION: Project Will Publish Data From 100 Hospitals
The California Healthcare Association has announced a $2 million initiative that will make available California hospitals' "patient satisfaction scores for all the world to see." Modeled on a similar program in Massachusetts, the association will contract with the Boston-based Picker Institute to determine "how a large number of the state's most important hospitals fared in their own patients' eyes, using comparable numbers." CHA Executive Vice President Dr. Bruce Spurlock said, "All hospitals are doing patient satisfaction surveys. But they're all doing their own, using private vendors. To truly benchmark, it has to be the same tool administered in exactly the same way across the entire state." He said the Picker Institute will administer written evaluations to medical, surgical and maternity patients. The first round of surveys for each facility will be made available only to its administration, giving them the opportunity to "make improvements before the second survey cycle in spring 2000," which will be made public. Picker Institute President Susan Edgman-Levitan said, "Giving hospitals their data and using it for improvement, combined with making it public in the future, is a very important motivator." Spurlock said that while 38 of the state's 400 hospitals have signed up thus far, he expects 100 to commit overall. Modern Healthcare reports that the "project is the first major venture into quality improvement by the California Healthcare Association" (Moore Jr., 12/21-28 issue).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.