This report explores the views of New York State residents about health care quality, including what they think quality means, what kinds of information about quality they want, whom they want it from, and what they think the state government’s role should be in providing information about quality and in holding doctors and hospitals accountable for quality. Based on a representative survey of 800 adult residents of New York State conducted by Public Agenda and supported by NYSHealth, key findings include the following:

  • New York State residents worry about health care quality nearly as much as they worry about affordability and insurance coverage.
  • New York State residents think high-quality health care from a doctor means that diagnoses are correct, treatments are effective and communication is clear, among other attributes. From a hospital, state residents think high-quality care means that treatments are effective, complications and errors are rare and communication is clear, among other attributes.
  • Few state residents think there is enough publicly available information about quality. Most of them say that information about effectiveness and error rates would help them identify high-quality doctors and hospitals.
  • Actual patients are the source that the most New York State residents would trust if they wanted to find out about the quality of a specific doctor’s or hospital’s care.
  • While New York State residents have less trust in the state government as a source for finding out about quality, most residents think the state government should provide information about the quality of every doctor and hospital in the state—and that health insurers should provide that information, too.
  • Most residents think the New York State government should monitor doctors’ and hospitals’ quality and hold them accountable for the quality of care they provide.