The association of hospital quality ratings with adverse events.
A recent systematic review found that better patient experiences of care are associated with improved patient safety and quality of care. This survey of more than 2500 adults discharged from 16 hospitals in Massachusetts adds to our understanding of this relationship. Patients who self-reported having experienced an adverse event (AE) while hospitalized rated the overall quality of hospital care lower, but this finding was primarily among patients who did not report that the AE they experienced was explicitly disclosed to them. Among patients who experienced an AE, it appeared that patient satisfaction was highest (and nearly equal to satisfaction of patients with error-free hospitalizations) when the error was disclosed, the patients were engaged in their own care, and discharge was perceived as timely. These findings imply that even when patients experience complications, "service recovery" efforts, such as formal error disclosure programs, can positively affect patients' perceptions of the care quality.