Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hospital perks: How much should hospitals be rewarded for the patient experience?

Date:
December 2, 2010
Source:
University of Southern California
Summary:
From hotel-style room service to massage therapy to magnificent views, hospitals are increasingly touting their luxury services in a bid to gain market share, especially those in competitive urban markets. An important new article raises crucial questions about the role of amenities in hospital care, explaining that how we decide to value the patient experience can have a significant effect on health care costs.

From hotel-style room service to massage therapy to magnificent views, hospitals are increasingly touting their luxury services in a bid to gain market share, especially those in competitive urban markets. An important new article, published December 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine, raises crucial questions about the role of amenities in hospital care, explaining that how we decide to value the patient experience can have a significant effect on health care costs.

Related Articles


"Though amenities have long been relevant to hospital competition, they seem to have increased in importance -- perhaps because patients now have more say in selecting hospitals," explained corresponding author John Romley, an economist with the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at USC and research assistant professor in the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development.

Empirical evidence and surveys seem to confirm that patients increasingly value the nonclinical experience more than measures of clinical quality, such as a hospital's risk-adjusted mortality rate.

In a "Perspectives" piece in New England Journal of Medicine, the authors cite their own research showing that Medicare patients often do not choose the hospital nearest to them. They are willing to travel -- and not necessarily for better clinical care, even in cases involving heart attack, where risk of death should be an overriding concern.

Rather, the proportion of patients who received care at a given hospital was strongly correlated to the quality of amenities. Improved perks also have a significant effect on hospital volume.

"On a societal level, the value of amenities is important because our health care system currently pays for them," explained lead author Dana Goldman, director of the Schaeffer Center at USC and Norman Topping Chair in Medicine and Public Policy at the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development. "A hospital seeking to strengthen its financial position might view investment in amenities as a sound strategy to attract patients. The question is, however, what effect such a strategy might have on patients' outcomes as well as on overall health care costs."

The researchers note that if amenities create environments that patients and providers prefer, the result may be better treatment and improved health outcomes. Accounting for patient experience can either help us determine whether amenities are necessary to better performance or tell us if hospitals should shift their focus entirely to clinical quality instead.

"As health care reform moves forward, we need to decide whether amenities are a valuable part of the hospital experience," Romley said. "If they are, policymakers should include them in the measures for overall quality, prices and productivity."

Mary Vaiana at RAND was also an author of this paper.

Goldman, et al. The Emerging Importance of Patient Amenities in Hospital Care. New England Journal of Medicine. December 2, 2010.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dana P. Goldman, Ph.D., Mary Vaiana, Ph.D., and John A. Romley, Ph.D. The Emerging Importance of Patient Amenities in Hospital Care. NEJM, December 1, 2010 [link]

Cite This Page:

University of Southern California. "Hospital perks: How much should hospitals be rewarded for the patient experience?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101202124252.htm>.
University of Southern California. (2010, December 2). Hospital perks: How much should hospitals be rewarded for the patient experience?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101202124252.htm
University of Southern California. "Hospital perks: How much should hospitals be rewarded for the patient experience?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101202124252.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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