Who Cares What Patients Think?

December 4, 2006

The growing complexity of our health care system, and time demands on providers, can cause patients’ non-obvious needs to get lost in the shuffle. Sometimes, the result can be less-than-optimal care. In response, providers are trying to be more responsive to patients’ cultural traditions, family situations, personal preferences and values. Some have tagged this movement “patient-centered care.”

What is the federal government doing to measure patient satisfaction? Are the data being used to improve the quality of services in Medicare, Medicaid and other publicly financed programs? What are private plans doing to measure what patients think? How are providers reacting to these efforts? How important is patient satisfaction, compared to clinical outcomes, in measuring the quality of health care?

To discuss these and related questions, The Commonwealth Fund and the Alliance for Health Reform sponsored a December 4 luncheon briefing. Panelists were: Charles Darby, head of the CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) project at the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Karen Davis, president of The Commonwealth Fund; and Melinda Karp, director of programs at Massachusetts Health Quality Partners. MHQP is a coalition of providers, plans, purchasers, consumers and government agencies that work to create consensus guidelines and to provide the public and the health care industry with evidence-based information that can be used to improve the quality of services. Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated the discussion.


Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Speaker Presentations

Darby’s Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Davis’s Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Karp’s Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Resources