Promoting patient hospital reviews is not a medical outcome

Amy Norton
Health Day Reporter

Friday, February 28, 2020 (HealthDay News)-If new studies show any signs, acclaimed online reviews of hospitalization may not make much sense for actual medical care.

Researchers say that across US hospitals, patient satisfaction scores depend more on “hospitality” factors (friendly nurses, quiet rooms, good food, etc.) than on rigorous measurements of quality of care. discovered.

Hospitals with the lowest mortality rates tended to be more patient-satisfied, but in small amounts. Instead, the quiet, comfortable and friendly staff had a much stronger impact.

Not surprising at all. Patients know if their food is delicious, the room is comfortable, and hospital staff respond, says lead researcher Cristobal Young.

“These front-line factors are visible to them,” said Young, an associate professor of sociology at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

On the other hand, “behind the scenes” events are important, but not always clear. “For example, the steps a hospital takes to control an infection are very important,” Young said. “But they are invisible to us.”

According to Young, if a patient satisfaction rating does not capture these variables, people should take a Yelp review with a grain of salt.

Studies recently published in the journal Social forcesContradicts some previous studies that have found that high patient satisfaction ratings correlate with hospital health care quality.

But according to Young, the fact that healthcare affects patient satisfaction is only part of the story. He said new discoveries, while true, suggest that “hospitality” is a much stronger influence.

For this study, Young’s team analyzed government data on health care quality and patient satisfaction in more than 3,100 US hospitals collected between 2007 and 2010.

Health care quality was measured by factors such as the 30-day mortality rate in hospitals for elderly patients treated. Heart disease Or pneumoniaHow well the staff adheres to standard treatment Heart disease, pneumonia And surgery.

Patient satisfaction was assessed through standard surveys asking about issues such as nurse communication. pain Peace of mind, and the comfort and tranquility of the hospital room.

In general, according to Young, patient satisfaction is slightly higher in hospitals with the lowest mortality rates than in hospitals with the highest mortality rates, with a difference of about 2 percentage points.

Clean and quiet rooms, on the other hand, made a big difference in patient evaluation. On the other hand, nurses had the greatest impact. Patients were happier in hospitals where nurses’ communication skills were rated in the top 10%. Over 75% give high satisfaction to overall care.

In contrast, in hospitals where nurse communication is in the bottom 10%, investigators have found that only about half of the patients are very happy.

However, the standard overlooks the importance of nurses’ technical know-how in patient care, Young said.

The key question is whether nurses’ communication skills can really be considered a non-medical factor. And the American Hospital Association (AHA) says the answer is no.

“The author of the study Nurse-Communication questions as a measure of “hospitality”. However, these questions also reflect deeper quality-related issues, such as whether nurses listened carefully to patients and explained care, “said Akin Demehin, AHA’s policy director. Stated.

Other than that, additional questions about the study “reflected the patient’s perspective on other important quality issues, such as staff response, medication management, and clarity of discharge orders,” he said.

“I’m concerned that the results of this study reflect a misunderstanding about how patient experience is related to quality,” Demehin added.

Even though the acclaimed online reviews focus on the comfortable aesthetics of the hospital room, it may seem logical that hospitals are also likely to provide good care.

According to Young, “You might think they provide better care just because hospitals have more resources, but the actual correlation is weak.”

He suggested that people turn to the Medicare program’s hospital comparison website. It provides information on factors such as surgical complications, infections, and whether the hospital meets a variety of standard treatments.

“Yelp reviews don’t tell you the most important things you need to know,” Young said.

Copyright © 2020 Health Day. all rights reserved.

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Source: Dr. Cristobal Young, Associate Professor of Sociology, Cornell University, Ithaca, Massachusetts. Policy Officer for Akin Demehin, MPH, American Hospital Association, Washington, DC. February 13, 2020, Social forces,online

Promoting patient hospital reviews is not a medical outcome

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