Filtering Patient Care Experiences into Report Cards

Numbers aren’t everything when it comes to evaluating care experiences, several industry groups argue. (See related story, p. 4.) Groups such as the Portland, OR-based Foundation for Accountability (FACCT) advocate that physician practices determine how patients are being educated to live with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and coronary artery disease.

These questions are excerpted from a sample survey FACCT is testing to look at those issues:

1. Patient education & knowledge

— Did patients receive education about managing their conditions and was it useful?

2. Patient’s disease management

— Do diabetes patients test their blood glucose?

— Do moderate/severe asthma patients use their peak flow meter?

3. Involvement in care decisions

— Are patients offered choices in care, and do doctors discuss treatment options?

4. Maintaining regular activities

— To what extent do the patients’ conditions keep them from participating in regular activities?

— How many days during the last four weeks was the patients’ physical/mental health not good?

5. Symptom control

— Are patients experiencing mild, moderate, or severe symptoms?

6. Access to good care

— How satisfied are patients with access to specialty care?

— How satisfied are patients with the overall health care and the experience with the health plan?

7. Functional status

— What is the patient’s level of physical and mental health status and functioning?

8. Communication with providers

— Do the doctors and nurses communicate effectively with the patients about their diseases and what to expect?

9. Coping

— How much of a problem or hassle is it for patients to follow their plan of care — organizing daily routine, taking medications, exercising, and eating right?

10. Getting essential treatments

— Did diabetes patients get foot exams?

— Did asthma patients get instructions on using their inhalers?