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Am J Med Qual. 2008 Jan-Feb;23(1):56-9. doi: 10.1177/1062860607310915.

Consumer attitudes about health care acquired infections: a German survey on factors considered important in the choice of a hospital.

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Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hospital Epidemiology, Medical School Hannover, Hannover, Germany.


Most patients are free in their choice of hospital for nonemergency admissions. In a nationwide survey in 1000 German households, we interviewed randomly chosen persons (age 14 and older) by phone about what they consider important when choosing a hospital. A standardized questionnaire was used. Additionally, question order was randomized prior to each interview. Demographic data included age, gender, education, and previous admissions to hospitals. Categories that might influence the choice of hospital included "distance to hospital," "friendly staff," "staff-to-patient ratio," "cleanliness," "nosocomial infection rate," "own experiences," "friend's opinion," and "facility's reputation in public media." General cleanliness, low nosocomial infection rates, and friendly staff proved to be the most important issues in our study. In contrast, the reputation of the health care facility in the public media was much less important. It seems that kindness and basic hygiene measures, both quite inexpensive factors, are key issues for patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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