February 25, 2013

The greater good vs shopping

Engaged Patients Will Need Comparative Physician-Level Quality Data And Information About Their Out-Of-Pocket Costs

Access to quality and cost information for citizens is increasing in certain environments. Right now you can find for example the prevalence of nosocomial infection in acute care hospitals in Catalonia with a simple click (p.69). You can assess in advance the probability of being infected during your hospital stay and if you check the indicator you'll find wide variations. Unfortunately this information is not structured to take decisions.
A recent paper in HA groups two potential approaches, information for greater good vs. information for shopping.
The health care quality and cost reporting programs that fall under the “transparency for the greater good” model tend to be nonprofit and government initiatives focused on improving quality and efficiency, engaging consumers, and increasing awareness of variation in quality and cost. In contrast, the programs that fall under the “one-stop shopping” model tend to be private-sector initiatives that aim to provide personalized, integrated information on cost and quality to support consumers’ decision making regarding care providers and services.
Personnally, I'm not so convinced about the dissemination and use of such information to patients. I'm not so sure about the role of choice in general. I suggest you have a look at the book the Paradox of choice before entering into a dubious land. Anyway, I'm in favour for greater transparency, and initiatives like Central de Resultats are a good example, but I remain uncertain about its usefulness for " doctor shopping".

I should go to Viladecans exhibition on Espriu