Does Patient Satisfaction Correlate With Care Quality?

According to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, care quality and patient satisfaction do not always correlate. Researchers interviewed 177 internal medicine patients who had at least two medical conditions, at least two medical procedures, and stayed in the hospital between June 2012 and February 2013. The team of researchers then asked the patients to rate their overall satisfaction, identify their medical diagnoses, their medication instructions, and the tests and procedures they underwent. These answers were compared to documentation by physicians. The researchers found that patients’ knowledge of their own care was “suboptimal” in that they did not fully understand it and often incorrectly identified medications and procedures. According to researchers, such occasions raise questions about whether or not a patient was able to give informed consent. Researchers say that more research needs to be done on the subject because “the results raise questions as to how much information patients should have about their inpatient care.”

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