Korean patients, like their American and British counterparts, will directly assess the hospitals where they received treatments, officials said Thursday.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service (HIRA)건강보험심사평가원 said they would begin a survey starting on July 17, asking about the patient experience of tertiary general hospitals and 95 medical institutions with 500 or more beds.
The telephone survey covers 150,000 people who have been hospitalized, and the actual number of respondents will likely be 10 percent of the total, or 15,250.
Officials said they are introducing the U.S.-style direct assessment of hospitals by patients to check the quality level of medical services from the public's point of view, such as respecting the patients and providing health care corresponding to personal needs, signals and values.
|Source: Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service (HIRA)|
In the U.S., the U.K., the Netherlands and other developed countries, health authorities have assessed patient experiences since the early 2000s to improve the quality of healthcare as experienced by patients.
In these countries, positive experiences of patients and patient-centered medical services have reportedly had positive effects on clinical efficacy and patient safety, such as relieving symptoms and increasing compliance with treatment and reducing unnecessary tests, the officials said.
The U.S. authorities, who first introduced patient experience evaluations, disclosed the results of evaluations to hospitals and used them as performance payment factors. The U.K. and Netherlands also publish hospital results.
In Korea, the survey questionnaire will also ask if the medical staff carefully listened to the patient's story, explained the contents of treatment clearly, and whether they provided information on a treatment plan, hospitalization time, and other factors.
Unlike foreign countries that use various methods such as telephone, postal, and online surveys, Korea Research, Inc., a research firm will start with phone survey, which will continue for three to four months.
To conduct smooth surveys, the government has been promoting public participation by distributing posters, leaflets, and banners that guide patients' experience surveys to 95 hospitals since last month.
To induce the public to respond to the inquiries, they will make every effort to protect personal information keeping the contents of the response confidential.
"Through the patient experience survey, we will reflect people's voices in the medical field, and share the evaluation result with the hospitals,” a ministry official said. “We hope that the people and the medical staff will improve the quality of medical service and make patient-centered medical culture together."
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