Patient Perspectives in Comparing Hospitals for Childbirth: Insights from Hawai'i

Hawaii J Med Public Health. 2019 Mar;78(3):89-97.


Childbirth is a national priority area for healthcare quality improvement. Patient perspectives are increasingly valued in healthcare, yet Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) perspectives of healthcare quality are often understudied, particularly from individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP). Our study goal was to understand factors that consumers in Hawai'i, including AAPI and those with LEP, use to compare patient care in hospitals, especially for childbirth. A total of 400 women ages 18 years and older with a recent childbirth completed an in-person interview in English (n=291), Tagalog (n=42), Chinese (n=36), or Marshallese (n=31) on O'ahu, Hawai'i. Participants described if (yes/no), and how (open-ended), they believed hospitals in the state varied in providing patient care. Open-ended responses were coded by two independent raters using the framework approach. Respondents were 53.3% Asian, 30.8% Pacific Islander, 13.5% White, and 2.5% other race/ethnicity; 17.8% reported limited English proficiency. Overall, 66.8% of respondents affirmed that local hospitals varied in patient care; Marshallese, other Pacific Islanders, and non-English speakers were significantly less likely to say that Hawai'i hospitals varied in patient care. Among those who endorsed hospital variation, commonly reported themes about this variation were: (1) patient experience, (2) patient overall impression, (3) childbirth options (eg, waterbirths), (4) staff, (5) facilities (eg, "emergency capabilities"), (6) high-tech levels of care, and (7) the hospital's area of focus (eg, "women and children"). We provide insights into factors that diverse patients use to compare patient care in hospitals in Hawai'i to add value, relevance, and engagement to healthcare quality research and dissemination efforts.

Keywords: Asian American; Pacific Islander; childbirth; hospital quality; limited English proficiency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hawaii
  • Hospitals / standards*
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic / methods
  • Labor, Obstetric*
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy
  • Qualitative Research
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires