Why hospital choice matters — Joseph Doyle

MIT Sloan Assoc. Prof. Joseph Doyle

From Huffington Post

As our healthcare system moves from compensating providers on the basis of quantity of care to quality of care, it’s very important to measure hospital performance.  But a key limitation for that measurement is patient selection.

A large body of research suggests that it doesn’t matter where patients go for treatment. Teaching hospitals, for example, have been found to achieve modestly better health outcomes. Unfortunately, patients in worse health tend to choose or are referred to hospitals based on the facilities’ capabilities. So hospitals with higher levels of treatment intensity – meaning teaching hospitals or hospitals that perform the latest procedures – could appear to have poorer grades on healthcare report cards because they are treating the sickest patients.

See the full post and video at Huff Post Healthy Living

Joseph Doyle is the Erwin H. Schell Professor of Management and Associate Professor of Applied Economics

One thought on “Why hospital choice matters — Joseph Doyle

  1. I’ve worked at a lot of hospitals as a neurologist. I agree with your assessment. There are other factors that make measurement difficult. For example, many use “death rates” as a measure of success. However, many patients are admitted to the hospital with the dying process started. The most compassionate doctors will see that and help the patient and family consider all their options.
    In my training though, I saw a lot of doctors that were uncomfortable approaching that subject and they would only counsel a full care option. Those doctors and the hospitals they work at maybe able to get the patient out of the door alive (suffering on their death bed), and have better looking stat’s. Is it better quality care? It is tough to measure such, in my opinion.
    Roger Gietzen at Healthy Mind Body

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