Hospital leaders, clinicians misjudge care quality

Posted on September 6, 2012

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Amid calls to improve care, a new study suggests physicians and nurses may give themselves higher marks than they deserve for care quality for hospital patients prior to a serious complication, Reuters Health reported.

After examining 47 patient records, Dutch researchers revealed a disconnect between the quality of care found by independent experts and the quality of care providers thought they delivered.

The nurses and doctors said they were good at identifying a patient’s deteriorating condition, giving themselves high marks in communication, cooperation and care coordination, according to the study published in the journal Critical Care Medicine.

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However, researchers found a delay in spotting deterioration in 60 percent of the patients, and 38 patients providers should have considered “at risk” in the two days leading up to complications.

Physicians’ and nurses’ misperceptions might explain why providers sometimes hesitate to implement patient safety efforts, the researchers noted.

Meanwhile, healthcare leaders also are overestimating the care provided at their organizations, noted Becker’s Hospital Review.

According to a recent Studer Group survey, for hospitals where 75 percent to 100 percent of leaders said their organization “did well” at delivering quality care, HCAHPS survey scores didn’t match up.

Such disconnects are alarming. “If you overrate performance, you’re not going to improve it,” Quint Studer told Becker’s. “Or rather, if you don’t know something is broken, you won’t be empowered to fix it.”

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