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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
"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
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.