The troubling part of patient satisfaction surveys

'Patients can be very satisfied and dead an hour later'
By Erin McCann
11:11 AM
Patient in empty hospital hallway

At first glance, patient satisfaction surveys that are linked to hospital Medicare payments may seem great in theory. But tying hospital payments to subjective patient experience metrics may actually result in serious harm by diverting attention away from the clinical outcomes and care quality part of it all.

By connecting a sizable 30 percent of Medicare bonus payments to patients' hospital stay surveys (think questions like "was your bathroom clean?", "did doctors listen carefully to you?" and "how often did doctors treat you with courtesy and respect?", some officials say it may have dangerous consequences for overall patient care.

[See also: See which hospitals earned worst scores for hospital-acquired infections (list, map).]

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"Patients can be very satisfied and dead an hour later," said one clinical instructor to The Atlantic. "Sometimes hearing bad news is not going to result in a satisfied patient."

To read more of this story, please visit the original here on The Atlantic. Original piece written by Alexandra Robbins. 

[See also: CMS names 5-star hospitals.]

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