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National Survey on Consumer Experiences With Patient Safety and Quality

This November 2004 survey assesses Americans' perceptions about the quality of health care, their awareness and reported usage of information in making their health care choices, and their experiences with their health care providers.

Five years after a groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report focused attention on medical errors in hospitals, Americans say that they do not believe that the nation's quality of care has improved. In a new survey, 4 in 10 (40 percent) people say the quality of health care has gotten worse in the past 5 years, 1 in 6 (17 percent) says the quality of care has gotten better, and nearly 4 in 10 (38 percent) say it has stayed the same. Collaborating on the survey were the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Harvard School of Public Health.

For more details—including a press release; toplines, summary, and chartpack of survey findings, and a link to a Web cast of a November 17, 2004, briefing on survey findings—go to

The briefing featured:

  • AHRQ director Carolyn Clancy, M.D.
  • Robert J. Blendon, professor of health policy at the Harvard School of Public Health.
  • Mollyann Brodie, Kaiser Family Foundation vice president and director of public opinion and media research.
  • Don Nielsen, senior vice president for quality leadership at the American Hospital Association.
  • Joyce Dubow, associate director of the AARP Public Policy Institute.
  • Elliot Sussman, M.D., president and chief executive officer of the Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network.
Page last reviewed November 2004
Internet Citation: National Survey on Consumer Experiences With Patient Safety and Quality. November 2004. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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