The road to patient experience of care measurement: lessons from the United States

Isr J Health Policy Res. 2013 Sep 17;2(1):35. doi: 10.1186/2045-4015-2-35.


Patient-centered care has become an increasing priority in the United States and plays a prominent role in recent healthcare reforms. One way the country has managed to advance patient-centered care is through establishment of a family of national patient experience surveys (the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Plans (CAHPS). CAHPS is publicly reported for several types of providers and was recently tied to hospital reimbursement. This is part of a trend over the last two decades that has shifted provider-patient relationships from a traditional paternal approach to customer service and then to clinical partnership. The health care system in Israel, however, is still struggling to overcome barriers to change in this area. While community based biannual patient experience surveys are conducted by the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, there is no comprehensive national approach to measuring the patient experience across a broad range of settings. Only recently did the Israeli Ministry of Health take its first steps to include patient experience as a dimension of health care quality.In its current position, Israel should learn from the U.S. experience with policies promoting patient-centered care, and specifically the impact on clinical services of measuring the patient experience. Looking at what has happened in the United States, we suggest three main lessons. First, there is a need for a set of national patient experience surveys that would be publicly reported and eventually tied to provider reimbursement. Secondly, the national survey tools should be customized to the unique characteristics of Israeli society and draw from recent research on patient-centeredness to include new and important domains such as patient activation and shared decision-making. Finally, newer technological approaches should be explored with the aim of increasing response rates and the timeliness and usefulness of the surveys.