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Patient satisfaction may not be a good indicator of surgical quality

Kaiser Health News, April 19, 2013
You may have found your doctor to be a great communicator, your hospital room clean and quiet and your pain well controlled. Yet a study finds these opinions are not barometers of whether your hospital's surgical care is any good. The study, led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University medical and public health schools, looked at patient satisfaction and surgical quality measures at 31 urban hospitals in 10 states. Patient satisfaction was determined by the results of standard Medicare surveys given to patients after they left the hospital. Quality was judged by how consistently surgeons and nurses followed recommended standards of care, such as giving antibiotics at the right time and taking precautionary steps to avert blood clots.