Opinion: Hospitals aren't hotels

The New York Times, March 15, 2012

We hurt people because it's the only way we know to make them better. This is the nature of our work, which is why the growing focus on measuring "patient satisfaction" as a way to judge the quality of a hospital's care is worrisomely off the mark. Implied in the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey is a troubling misapprehension of how unpleasant a lot of actual healthcare is. Put colloquially, it evaluates hospital patients' level of satisfaction. We might like to say it shouldn't be, but physical pain, and its concomitant emotional suffering, tend to be inseparable from standard care.


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