Women place higher importance on quality outcomes of a surgical procedure than distance to provider and out of pocket costs, according to a new report by healthcare rating company Healthgrades.
The report, based on a survey of 1,116 women, also found that women place higher importance on the quality of the doctor or hospital than whether or not insurance covers the cost of a surgical procedure.
“These results show that in developing and sustaining valuable, life-long relationships with women, high quality must be a hospital’s central theme in educating and communicating with the women of its community,” it stated.
The report identified maternity care as the beginning of a hospital care relationship for women. It is often the first time a woman considers a hospital for what it has to offer prior to her care needs.
“Women tour maternity wards and research hospital quality long before their babies are due,” it stated. “This is an important time for a hospital to capture the loyalty that a female patient may give over her lifetime.”
Healthgrades added that during a three-year time period (2012-2012) it found that women treated at hospitals with 5-star performance in maternity care had a 5.4 percent lower risk of experiencing a complication with vaginal deliveries than women treated at hospitals with 1-star.
“In addition, women treated at hospitals with 5-stars had a 77.6 percent lower risk of experiencing a complication with caesarean delivery than women treated at hospitals rated 1-star, it added.
When Healthgrades asked women aged 18 to 50 if clinical quality performance ratings mattered for maternity care services, 65 percent responded that they would very/fairly likely choose a hospital rated 5-stars for a normal delivery if they knew there was a 45 percent lower risk (compared to the national average) of having a complication.
70 percent said they would very/fairly likely choose a hospital rated 5-stars for a caesarean delivery if they knew there was a 74 percent lower risk of having complications (compared to the national average).
“Thus, as women consider where to deliver their baby, a hospital with a distinction of high-quality maternity care can differentiate itself by educating women in their community about their excellence of care,” it stated.
The report concluded that hospital leaders can emphasize their ability to provide superior outcomes in the care of women throughout their lifecycle needs to differentiate their services in a competitive marketplace.
“The ability to provide measurable quality services to women throughout their lifetime can be leveraged into an overall strategy that incorporates the concept of the lifetime value of a patient,” it stated.
“Understanding the resources, both in tools and people, used by women ensuring plans include targeted marketing to those personas is a step all hospital leaders can take to attract this desirable demographic.”