New Survey Shows Online Research of Hospital Quality Information is Beginning to Impact Consumer Choice

BOSTON -- Consumer use of the Internet to research

hospital quality is growing rapidly, according to a new survey released recently by

HealthShare Technology, Inc. In the 18-month span between April 2002 and

October 2003, the number of people who researched hospital quality online more

than tripled from 3 percent to 11 percent.

More importantly, the report shows that the information these "hospital

quality seekers" receive is beginning to impact their health care choices and

behavior. Seventeen percent considered changing hospitals based on the

information they received when comparing hospital quality, and 10 percent

actually did so. Eighty-eight percent of respondents were primarily concerned

with two factors -- the hospital's complication rate and past patient

satisfaction.

"There is a short window of opportunity during which hospital quality

information can have an impact on a consumer's choice. Fortunately, consumers

turn to their health plans during this time to learn about their benefits and

hospital coverage. They are increasingly finding hospital comparison tools on

their health plan Web site, which seem to be providing the right information

at the right time," says Rick Siegrist, president and CEO of HealthShare

Technology.

The report was based on a survey of 5,000 online adults and was conducted

by Forrester Research in Fall 2003. Participants were selected from an

existing benchmark panel of 60,000 individuals, weighted to reflect U.S.

Census statistics. The margin of error is +/- 1 percent. To download the full

report, visit http://www.selectqualitycare.com.

HealthShare Technology, Inc. is a provider of healthcare decision support

tools that quickly and effectively analyze provider cost and quality.

Source: HealthShare Technology, Inc.

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