Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Experts question whether patients will use performance data to choose their care

Date:
November 25, 2010
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Expectations are high that the public will use performance data to choose their health providers and so drive improvements in quality. But in a new paper, two experts question whether this is realistic.

Expectations are high that the public will use performance data to choose their health providers and so drive improvements in quality. But in a paper published online in the British Medical Journal, two experts question whether this is realistic.

They think patient choice is not at present a strong lever for change, and suggest ways in which currently available information can be improved to optimise its effect.

Research conducted over the past 20 years in several countries provides little support for the belief that most patients behave in a consumerist fashion as far as their health is concerned, say Martin Marshall and Vin McLoughlin from The Health Foundation.

Although patients are clear that they want information to be made publicly available, they rarely search for it, often do not understand or trust it, and are unlikely to use it in a rational way to choose the best provider, they write.

They suspect that these problems are not just due to inadequate data, but may be the result of "unrealistic expectations" and "inappropriate assumptions" by advocates of public disclosure where health decisions are concerned.

They argue that the public "has a clear right to know how well their health system is working, irrespective of whether they want to use the information" and they suggest several ways in which currently available performance data could be made more useful.

For example, it is important that users perceive the information as coming from a trusted source, they say. It also needs to be of interest to the target audience and presented in a visually attractive way.

Patients also need to know how the NHS works before they can realistically judge comparative performance data, they add, while personal stories can also be compelling and influential when used alongside numeric data.

"In this paper, we present a significant challenge to those who believe that providing information to patients to enable them to make choices between providers will be a major driver for improvement in the near or medium term," they write. "We suggest that, for the foreseeable future, presenting high quality information to patients should be seen as having the softer and longer term benefit of creating a new dynamic between patients and providers, rather than one with the concrete and more immediate outcome of directly driving improvements in quality of care."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Martin Marshall, Vin McLoughlin. How do patients use information on health providers? British Medical Journal, 2010; 341: c5272 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c5272

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Experts question whether patients will use performance data to choose their care." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101125202306.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2010, November 25). Experts question whether patients will use performance data to choose their care. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101125202306.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Experts question whether patients will use performance data to choose their care." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101125202306.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins