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What's More Important?

Reprinted from PN June 2012

When it comes to quality of patient experiences, a study shows that as state and federal mandates are met, patients ultimately suffer.

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Is it more important to standardize care or ensure a positive patient experience?

New research shows hospitals that adopt strategies to meet government requirements see a decline in the quality of individual patient experiences.

The study by The Ohio State University found that as state and federal mandates are met patients ultimately suffer, showing a negative link between clinical quality and patient experience.

Researchers surveyed directors of quality or chief nursing officers at 284 hospitals in 44 states about their adherence to guidelines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as well as state patient safety guidelines, mandated in 2003.

Researchers found that implementing techniques to reduce medical errors and improve patient safety did improve outcomes. However, they unexpectedly found “these improvements sometimes came at the expense of the quality of the patient experience.”

The study’s lead author believes the patient needs to come first.

“We don’t want to lose sight of the patients, who are often treated as commodities these days,” says Aravind Chandrasekaran, PhD. “Clinical quality is about doing things correctly—strict guidelines, standardization and checklists, for example—so when you consider experiential quality is about customizing healthcare delivery to an individual’s patient needs, there is a tension there.”

To see the full study or for more information, visit researchnews.osu.edu/archive/hospitalproc.

 

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