Patient Survey Gauging Quality of Care in California Hospitals Good First Step, Bee Says
A "new and worthwhile effort to gauge the quality of care inside California hospitals has come up short because most hospitals refused to participate," a Fresno Bee editorial says, referring to a recent patient survey sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation and the California Institute of Health Systems Performance (Fresno Bee, 10/26). The survey was sent to patients who had spent at least one night in a participating hospital; 21,151 patients responded. The study included only 113, or nearly one-third, of the state's hospitals, each of which paid a $1,500 participation fee. Survey questions were divided into seven groups, including respect for patient preferences; coordination of care; information and education; physical comfort; emotional support; involvement of family and friends; and transition to home. Specific questions included, "Were patients treated with respect, dignity and as a partner in the health care process?" and "How organized and efficient were doctors and nurses?" (California Healthline, 9/4). The editorial notes that $1,500 is a "small price to pay to know what your patients think of you." The editorial concludes, "By and large, the hospitals survived the checkup with decent marks, though participating hospitals undoubtedly are taking note that the patient marks differed somewhat by hospital. Health care isn't like McDonald's. But at least [there], one has an idea of the quality of the burger. A little similar information about hospitals would be healthy for all concerned" (Fresno Bee, 10/26). Results of the survey are available at http://hospitalguide.chcf.org/.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.