Address correspondence to John W. Huppertz, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Chair, MBA Healthcare Management Program, Union Graduate College, 80 Nott Terrace, Schenectady, NY 12308; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Jay P. Carlson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, is with the School of Management, Union Graduate College, Schenectady, NY.
Consumers' Use of HCAHPS Ratings and Word-of-Mouth in Hospital Choice
Article first published online: 8 NOV 2010
© Health Research and Educational Trust
Health Services Research
Volume 45, Issue 6p1, pages 1602–1613, December 2010
How to Cite
Huppertz, J. W. and Carlson, J. P. (2010), Consumers' Use of HCAHPS Ratings and Word-of-Mouth in Hospital Choice. Health Services Research, 45: 1602–1613. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2010.01153.x
- Issue published online: 8 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 8 NOV 2010
- Patient satisfaction;
- hospital choice;
- word-of-mouth communication
Objective. To investigate the impact of the HCAHPS report of patient experiences and word-of-mouth narratives on consumers' hospital choice.
Data Sources. Online consumer research panel of U.S. adults ages 18 and older.
Study Design/Data Collection/Extraction Methods. In an experiment, 309 consumers were randomly assigned to see positive or negative information about a hospital in two modalities: HCAHPS graphs and a relative's narrative e-mail. Then they indicated their intentions to choose the hospital for elective surgery.
Principal Findings. A simple, one-paragraph e-mail and 10 HCAHPS graphs had similar impacts on consumers' hospital choice. When information was inconsistent between the HCAHPS data and e-mail narrative, one modality attenuated the other's effect on hospital choice.
Conclusions. The findings illustrate the power of anecdotal narratives, suggesting that policy makers should consider how HCAHPS data can be affected by word-of-mouth communication.