Quality Corporation Releases Reports on Quality and Utilization of Healthcare

For the first time, scores related to patient satisfaction were gathered and published
The Lund Report

August 2, 2013--The Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation released new reports last week scoring the performance of 335 hospitals, clinics, and primary care offices in Oregon. For the first time, the Quality Corporation also published scores on patient satisfaction, based on surveys collected from 10 primary care clinics.

The scores, available on the Quality Corporation’s website, provide one of the most transparent lenses on the quality of care clinics and hospitals provide in Oregon, and whether that care is becoming better or worse over time. Patients are able to not only look up scores of a particular doctor’s office or hospital, but also compare those scores to past data and other offices throughout the state.  

Mylia Christensen, the Quality Corporation’s executive director, hopes the patient satisfaction scores and the willingness of clinics to provide that information will further the goals of increasing transparency and healthcare quality.  

“It’s critical to involve the voice and reflections of patients,” said Christenson. “This type of information is really important for the consumer and the patient…who are trying to get the best healthcare for the insurance they pay for.”

The patient satisfaction scores are based off a national survey used by the Quality Corporation. The survey asked patients at 10 clinics—which volunteered to administer and then report survey results—about communicating with their doctor, access to timely care, whether they were treated with courtesy and respect, and the quality of the care they received while hospitalized.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality Initiative has provided funding for the Quality Corporation’s work since 2007, and provided additional funding last year so patient satisfaction scores could be collected. The Quality Corporation also partnered with the Oregon Health Authority. 

“It’s really important for physicians or any healthcare provider to measure their patient experience and patient satisfaction,” said Dr. David Shute, the medical director of Greenfield Health. “It gives us specific information for how we can improve and how we can do things better.”

(Before joining Greenfield Health, Shute worked as the Quality Corporation’s medical director for six years and helped develop its public reports on quality and performance).

Shute said that the type of unbiased data the Quality Corporation generates can help clinics and providers make specific interventions and actions to improve care. For example, doctor’s offices can decide to change how patient schedules are managed if patients are not getting an appointment when they need them, or hire more providers.

And if patients have positive experiences with healthcare, he said, they’re more likely to have a productive relationship with their provider, “listen to their doctor, and be more apt to take on the lifestyle and behavior changes they need to be well.”

Christensen said her organization wants to collect patient satisfaction surveys from as many clinics as possible in the coming years and is beginning an outreach effort to communicate with clinics.

The reports related to quality of healthcare, which the Quality Corporation has published since 2008, score the performance of health providers on a wide variety of basic and preventive care, including women and children’s health, diabetes and heart disease care, and antibiotic and generic drug use.

The quality reports also score hospitals for their overall care, and the quality of heart attack, surgical, heart failure and pneumonia care.

The scores are based on claims data provided by more than a dozen insurance companies and managed Medicaid organizations, and Oregon Health Authority’s Division of Medical Assistance Programs.

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, all but three states and the District of Columbia have organizations independently reporting on the quality or cost of care provided by doctors or hospitals.

Christensen said the Quality Corporation will publish a statewide report that aggregates the data later this month.  

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