Sunday, January 1, 2017

'Patient satisfaction ratings may do more harm than good' | Business Standard News

Contrary to the popular perception, subjective patient satisfaction ratings may actually lead to lower-quality care in some situations, according to new research. 

"Increasingly used as a measure of physician performance, patient satisfaction data can be flawed and not broadly applicable," said Terence Myckatyn of Washington University School of Medicine in the US.
Patient satisfaction is now among the quality of care indicators used in "pay for performance" programmes tying financial reimbursement under Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.

However, using patient satisfaction ratings in this way is having some unintended consequences, the researchers said.

For example, some hospitals are upgrading their physical facilities and adding luxury amenities, in an attempt to improve patient satisfaction scores.

"One could argue that these costly expenses have more to do with the perception of health-care quality rather than actual outcomes," Myckatyn said.

There are even anecdotal reports of doctors altering their medical judgement to improve patient satisfaction and minimise negative reviews - for example, prescribing antibiotics or strong pain medications to keep patients happy and move them quickly through the system.

"Behaviour motivated by patient satisfaction becomes especially dangerous when ratings are directly tied to compensation," researchers said.

This objective appraisal and reporting from an outside source may fall on deaf ears among the 'authorities' who set meaningless metric for measuring quality of care.  I know many patients who are being treated appropriately and who give their provider and/or hospital failing grades.
On the other hand we see more private rooms and more attention to non medical needs which contribute to a better sense of wellness which overall increases quality of life.
"The truth is that there is little high-level evidence to support that patient satisfaction surveys will provide Americans with improved medical outcomes, but there are plenty of contradictory data," said Myckatyn.

The research was published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

'Patient satisfaction ratings may do more harm than good' | Business Standard
Post a Comment