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‘Patient-experience’ focus can be so Mickey Mouse

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An article in The Atlantic argues that “a misguided attempt to improve healthcare has led some hospitals to focus on making people happy, rather than making them well.”

The author, Alexandra Robbins, writes:

“When hospitals improve nurse working conditions, rather than tricking patients into believing they’re getting better care, the quality of care really does get better.”

“Instead, hospitals are responding to the current {patient-satisfaction} surveys and weighting system by focusing on smiles over substance, hiring actors instead of nurses, and catering to patients’ wishes rather than their needs. Then again, perhaps it’s no wonder that companies are airbrushing healthcare with a ‘Disney-like experience,’ a glossy veneer. One of the leading consulting companies now advising hospitals on ‘building a culture of healthcare excellence’ is, oddly enough, the Walt Disney Company.

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