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Health Policy. 2018 Nov;122(11):1177-1182. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2018.09.010. Epub 2018 Sep 18.

Public reporting of hospital quality data: What do referring physicians want to know?

Author information

1
Institute for Health Services Research and Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Karl-von-Frisch-Strasse 4, 35043 Marburg, Germany. Electronic address: geraedts@uni-marburg.de.
2
Institute for Health Systems Research, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, Alfred-Herrhausen-Strasse 50, 58448 Witten, Germany.
3
Institute for Health Services Research and Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Karl-von-Frisch-Strasse 4, 35043 Marburg, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To identify ambulatory care physicians' priorities for hospital quality criteria to support them in counselling patients what hospital to choose.

METHODS:

Three hundred non-hospital-based stratified randomly sampled physicians, representing the five main referring specialties in Germany participated in a cross-sectional survey. Physicians rated the importance of 80 hospital quality criteria to be used in their counselling of patients in need of hospital care. Criteria selection was based on a literature analysis and the content of Germany's mandatory hospital quality reports. We calculated the most important criteria and performed an ordinal regression analysis to examine whether the physicians' characteristics 'age', 'sex', 'specialty', 'practice type' and 'region' affected physicians' importance ratings.

RESULTS:

To counsel patients in need of a hospital referral, physicians preferred hospital quality criteria that reflect their own and their patients' experiences with a hospital. Additionally, hospitals' expertise and results of treatment were rated highly important. In contrast, hospitals' structural characteristics and compliance with external requirements were rated less important. Physicians' characteristics affected importance ratings only negligibly.

CONCLUSIONS:

To support referring physicians' counselling of patients regarding what hospital to choose in order to achieve optimal patient outcomes eventually, hospital report cards must be enriched by information on physicians' and their patients' experiences with hospitals. Hospitals' structural characteristics play a minor role in counselling of patients needing hospital care.

KEYWORDS:

Consumer health information; Hospital report cards; Public reporting; Quality of health care

PMID:
30270032
DOI:
10.1016/j.healthpol.2018.09.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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