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2008 Update on Consumers’ Views of Patient Safety and Quality Information

2008 Update on Consumers’ Views of Patient Safety and Quality Information

An updated examination of consumers’ views on health care quality information reveals major challenges remain in providing the public with comparative quality information and encouraging its use.

The 2008 Update on Consumers’ Views of Patient Safety and Quality Information finds that three in 10 (30%) Americans say they have seen health care quality comparisons of health insurance plans, hospitals, or doctors in the past year. Not all people make health care choices or decisions in a given year that would call for the use of quality information, but this is a downward trend from surveys in 2006 (36%) and 2004 (35%) and roughly equivalent to the level in 2000 (27%). Further, just one in seven (14%) Americans report that they “saw” and “used” comparative health quality information for health insurance plans, hospitals, or doctors in the past year, again down from roughly one in five in both 2006 (20%) and 2004 (19%).

The report of consumer views on quality information was conducted in August as part of the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Election 2008 series. The report draws on data from a set of questions related to consumer quality information that the Kaiser Family Foundation has asked since 1996, at times in conjunction with partners. The report also examines public opinion on the coordination of health care among different health care providers and steps the public has taken to better organize their own care.

The survey was conducted by telephone from July 29 to August 6, 2008, among a randomly selected nationally representative sample of 1,517 respondents 18 years of age and older. The margin of sampling error for the overall survey is plus or minus three percentage points. For results based on subsets of respondents the margin of error is higher.

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