Survey Asks: Do New Yorkers Use Available Information about Quality Health Care?
In 2002–2003, researchers at the New York Academy of Medicine conducted telephone interviews and follow-up surveys of New York State residents to measure their perceptions about health care quality and information about quality, their experience with medical errors and their concerns about terrorism.
The research team reported these findings on health care quality in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice:
- A third of New Yorkers were very concerned about quality of care.
- About three-fourths of respondents were not very confident in their health care decisions even though they expressed concern about health care services.
- No single source of information stood out, with about 20 percent receiving information from the media in the past year and an equal number from non-media sources (e.g., coworkers, doctors).
- Women and those with higher education recalled getting medical information more often than men or those with a high school education or less.
- The survey results suggest that information on quality should be tailored to specific demographic groups.
The researchers reported these findings on medical errors in a report, Reported Experiences with Medical Errors in New York:
- About one-fifth of respondents said they or a household member had experienced a medical error sometime in the past.
- Respondents who were divorced, separated or widowed, African American and of higher income reported fewer errors than other groups.
- Those who used information to make health care decisions were more likely to report having experienced a medical error in the household than those who did not use information.
Researchers reported this finding on terrorism in the International Journal of Emergency Mental Health:
- New Yorkers were very concerned about future terrorist attacks; a substantial number said they would immediately evacuate their homes upon learning of an attack, regardless of public officials' instructions to the contrary.