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What Iowa Employers Really Want: Cost, Quality and Safety

A bullhorn or Megaphone with the word Value to stress a companyIn our 2013 Study, Iowa employers rated healthcare providers within their respective communities on 11 performance indicators as well as ‘Trust.’ The results of this survey was summarized in our ‘Voices for Value’ white paper and serve as both a baseline and a conduit for additional, meaningful dialogue on how to improve the healthcare we receive in Iowa and elsewhere.

As a corollary to last year’s study, we asked employers this year to rate the importance of the 12 performance indicators using a 10-point scale, where 1 means “not at all important” and 10 means “most important.” The purpose of this module was to learn which of the indicators are most important to Iowa employers. Their answers to this significant question now provide a meaningful weight to how employers sounded off in our 2013  ‘Voices.’

From our latest study, Iowa employers have spoken yet again. When it comes to healthcare, they prioritized the three following indicators:

  1. Keeping Costs Reasonable
  2. Keeping Quality of Care Consistent
  3. Safety of Care Delivered to Patients

It’s a very reasonable request, don’t you think? After all, they are the ones paying for it.

Iowa Employers Rank Performance IndicatorsAll 12 indicators scored at least 7.9, which clearly suggest that ALL indicators are very important to employers. However, only three indicators scored at least ‘9’ – Cost, Quality and Safety. This appears to be very intuitive. But I must confess, I was somewhat surprised to learn that ‘Safety’ was an eyelash away from being the second most important indicator overall – and it was the top indicator for those employers with at least 250 employees.

Iowa employers are very perceptive; as ‘safety of care delivered to patients’ SHOULD be a priority for obvious reasons. For those who have followed my previous blogs, quality and safety issues in the U.S. healthcare ‘system’ are, at best, worrisome – and, at worst, reprehensible.

Perhaps we have suspected these results to be factual all along, but now we have undeniable evidence of what employers REALLY want from their community healthcare providers. When combining cost with consistent quality and safety of care, employers seek high-value healthcare from those who deliver it.

Employers have my attention – but they need the attention of those delivering the care for which they are handsomely paying.

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