Information about the quality of hospitals is becoming
increasingly available for patients in the Netherlands. Consequently, patients
are able to make an informed hospital choice. However, previous research reveals that patients do not or barely use quality information
in their hospital choice. This is puzzling from the perspective of the
demand-driven health care system, which considers patients as rational health
consumers, capable of making independent choices. This article is meant to study why the Dutch patients do not use quality
information. In order to answer this question, patients with nonacute ailments
visiting the hospital clinics of several departments of a Dutch hospital were
asked to fill in a self-administered questionnaire
about their hospital choice and use of quality information. A total of 479
patients were included in the sample. The response rate was 81.9%. The results show that 5.2% of the respondents had actually seen
quality information and 4.0% had used it in their hospital choice. Logistic
regression analysis was carried out in order to explain why some
patients use quality information and some do not. This analysis shows that
nonusers compared to users are more frequently females, were older, have relatively more trust in their GP’s and distrust quality
information more often.
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