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Invited Commentary
September 2015

Public Reporting of Patient Satisfaction vs Objective Quality MeasuresWhy Must We Choose? Can Patients Have Both?

Author Affiliations
  • 1The Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Division of Acute Care Surgery, Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Department of Health Policy and Management, The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Surg. 2015;150(9):865. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.1347

As physicians and surgeons, we believe patients are fully rational human beings who make the same health care decisions we would if they had optimal data. Unfortunately, this is not the case. We all know patients, colleagues, friends, family members, and even ourselves who continue to smoke tobacco, drink alcohol in excess, abuse drugs, avoid exercise, and eat unhealthy diets. Roughly 40% of all deaths in the United States are related to patient behavioral choices.1 Patients may not make scientifically valid choices; however, in the rubric of patient-centered care, that is okay. Patients should individualize their medical care based on personal priorities, beliefs, and preferences.

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