Quality and Customer Satisfaction are different

Nice post today by Jaan Sidorov pointing out the difference between patient satisfaction and medical quality.

Expanding on some earlier themes (here and here), there are at least three important metrics that relate to “quality” of the interactions between the healthcare system and the patient.

  1. Patient satisfaction;
  2. Clinical outcome (best possible, regardless of cost);
  3. Most cost effective outcomes (on a population basis).

It is interesting to think of the different healthcare systems one would get by focusing on optimizing different combinations of these three metrics. I would argue that you can’t have all of them at once.

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