Navigation Links
Picking quality health care: New study shows a little context makes a big difference
Date:9/10/2009

WASHINGTON A hospital pneumonia survival rate of 93 percent may sound good, but knowing that it's actually merely "fair" can help people pick a better hospital, according to new research. A "good" survival rate would be from 95 percent to 98 percent, medical experts say.

Better use of quality-of-care ratings can lead to greater consumer control, more effective health-care choices, and provider competition over quality instead of cost, says a report published by the American Psychological Association.

The findings are timely, given the ongoing debate over health-care and health-insurance reform. Providers and the media are showering decision-makers with raw numbers about everything from those pneumonia survival rates to the percentage of heart attack patients given key drugs and post-stay patient ratings. Typical measurements describe hospitals, nursing homes, doctors, treatments and health-insurance plans.

When it's hard to interpret the numbers, people are tempted to choose based on cost, such as monthly premiums, or even how they feel at the moment, said a report on the research, which was published in the September issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

In four different studies, researchers asked people to pick fictional hospitals and health-insurance plans based on cost and quality-of-care data. Across the studies, getting the numbers in context strongly influenced decisions. People took quality data into account to a significantly greater degree when they were shown how the experts would rate the information.

When participants saw quality ratings expressed in context, in ranges such as "good," "fair" and "poor," they weighed quality more and cost less than participants who saw the same numbers out of context, the researchers found. For example, when choosing health-insurance plans, 54 percent of participants chose a higher-quality plan when given its numbers in context, while 39 percent chose it when given numbers out of context. Similarly, among older adults, 54 percent chose higher-quality plans when the numbers were evaluated; only 35 percent chose them when the numbers were without context.

Participants shown how to evaluate health-care data also leaned less on their momentary moods, which had nothing to do with quality measures.

The four studies involved 303 people age 18 to 64; 207 participants age 65 to 99 (an important group given the choices faced by older adults); 218 people age 18 to 51; and 83 students up to age 37. The studies were led by Ellen Peters, PhD, of Decision Research, a non-profit research group in Eugene, Ore., and the University of Oregon.

Being helped to interpret the numbers made the biggest difference for people who were less good with numbers generally. For them, such guidance helped them rise above the passing moods that they reported.

"Information providers cannot present 'just the facts,'" the authors wrote. If helped to integrate quality-of-care information into their judgments and reduce reliance on cost, people can make better decisions, they asserted.

The same goes for those making public policy and allocating health-care dollars. "Decision-makers need help in interpreting not only what the numbers are but what they mean," wrote the authors.

"Without [such help], today's world of instantaneous information could lead to a greater influence of irrelevant sources of affect [mood] and emotion, especially for the less numerate among us."


'/>"/>

Contact: Public Affairs Office
public.affairs@apa.org
202-336-5700
American Psychological Association
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Are we cherry picking participants for studies of antidepressants?
2. Picking the Right Toys Isnt Childs Play
3. Paragon Technologies SI Systems Brand Awarded A $1.0 Million System Expansion Contract for an Automated Light-Picking System
4. Regions Hospital Selected to Participate in National Cardiac Care Quality Improvement Effort
5. WRX Launches National Labor Efficiency Quality Award
6. California Walnut Industry Delivers High-Quality Crop
7. FaxBack Announces a New VoIP Fax ATA, based on HTTPS, Which Provides a Level of Quality for VoIP Faxing Equal to PSTN Connections
8. Patients pretreatment quality of life can predict overall lung cancer survival
9. San Francisco Health Plan Recognized as Top Health Plan for Quality in the California Medi-Cal Program
10. Michigan Chamber of Commerce Joins Employers for Quality Health Care; Calls for Health Care Reform - But Not If It Raises Taxes, Kills Jobs
11. Emerson Ecologics Introduces the Emerson Quality Partner(TM) Program
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The American Board ... become its next President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon ... beginning July 1, 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes in the delivery of ... part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple Rehab participated with the ... as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual Aid Plan (LTC-MAP). The ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at ... of the most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The ... that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), an industry leader ... range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual American Healthcare Association ... held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present the ... Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual Symposium ... a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... PROVIDENCE, R.I. , Sept. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... immunogenicity assessment, vaccine design, and immune-engineering today announced ... focused on the development of personalized therapeutic cancer ... and has provided exclusive access to enabling technologies ... MSc Eng., MBA will lead EpiVax Oncology as ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017  As the latest ... Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey ... notes that the medical device industry is in an ... device tax, the 2.3% excise tax on medical device ... they also want covered patients, increased visits and hospital ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ARBOR, Mich. , Sept. 19, 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device ... precise destruction of targeted tissues, announced three leadership team developments today:   ... Stopek, PhD ... ... Veteran medical device executive ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: