Consumers and Health Care Quality Information

Need, Availability, Utility

Published in: Consumers and Health Care Quality Information: Need, Availability, Utility / by RAND Health (Oakland, CA: California Healthcare Foundation, 2001), 24 p

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2000

by Sandra H. Berry, Mark Spranca, Julie A. Brown

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This report describes the needs for health information among California consumers as a group and focus on a few special populations-people over age 55, Spanish- and English-speaking people who describe themselves as Hispanics, people with less than a high school education, and people who rate their health as fair or poor. These groups were selected because their need for information about health care is great and the barriers to obtaining information may be greater than the population as a whole. This survey, the largest of its kind, was conducted by RAND between November 1999 and January 2000. The survey sampled over 4,000 Californians, and in addition, allowed a close up view of difficult to reach and traditionally under-served populations: the elderly, the chronically ill, the uninsured, low-income populations, and Hispanics. To the extent more recent national surveys of quality awareness among consumers have tracked movement in public opinion, the public appears to be even more aware of and concerned about quality, perhaps as a result of extensive news media coverage of the Institute of Medicine's findings on medical errors, than when this survey was conducted.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

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