In the last post I wrote about the survey tool, Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Provider and Systems, (HCAHPS) as the consumer voice on their hospital care. This information is intended to help organizations improve the way care is provided to the patient as well as a public reference for consumers.
We are a consumer driven society. We shop and we have expectations for our shopping experience. When we decide to buy a car, shop for clothes or plan for the kids braces expectations drive our decision. How much can we spend? Where can I get the best quality at the best price?
We have websites like Angie’s List, Yelp, and the comments sections on the online buying sites like Amazon. Here we can read other people’s experience with a product or service. We are social beings and sharing information about best products, price and service is part of our DNA.
How Easy is it to “Shop” for Healthcare?
A short answer is that it is NOT easy, but should be on the way to more transparency. “Shopping” for hospital care is very important. The hospital is where the majority of medical mistakes and infections occur. These mistakes cost billions of unplanned dollars per year, and patients are harmed. A decade old measurement from Institute of Medicine tells us that 98,000 people a year die in the US from these errors.
Knowing these sad statistics and recognizing the efforts being made by clinicians and administrators the next post will look at a couple of ways consumers can be proactive and pre-determine a hospital that may best serve their needs for safety and best outcomes.
Questions to Live By in the next post