Jan 18, 2024



How Hospital Quality Awards Shape Consumer Decisions in 2024

When it comes to picking a hospital, consumers tend to base their decisions on two factors: cost and convenience. But as consumers take on a more active role in their care, quality has emerged as a top consideration–and for good reason.

Rising Variability of Care

Adverse patient safety events have skyrocketed since the beginning of the pandemic, making it increasingly important for consumers to find and select a hospital that consistently delivers superior patient outcomes. As the gap between the nation’s highest- and lowest-performing facilities continues to grow, the difference between your local facility with in-network providers and a top-rated health system across town could be life and death. Healthgrades’ 2024 analysis of America’s Best Hospitals found that patients who seek care at one of America’s 250 Best Hospitals have a 29.8% lower risk of dying than those treated at a hospital that did not receive that distinction.* In fact, if all hospitals performed similarly to America’s 250 Best, 178,402 lives could have been saved between 2020-2022.*

The stakes could not be higher when it comes to finding the right doctor and hospital, which is why over half of U.S. healthcare consumers report feeling more concerned with their quality of care now than before the pandemic. And while many COVID-driven consumer behaviors have come and gone, this heightened focus on quality appears to have serious staying power.

Influence of Quality Awards on Healthcare Decision-Making

Third-party quality awards have become a top consideration for consumers during their search for high quality care. A December 2023 survey by Healthgrades revealed that quality achievements play an increasingly influential role in how consumers shop for healthcare:

  • 80% of Americans report feeling more confident in their decision to seek care at a hospital that has a quality award in their procedure or condition.**
  • Over 75% say they would only choose a hospital with high quality ratings in their condition or procedure, and one-third identify quality awards as one of their top three criteria for choosing a hospital.**
  • When choosing between two hospitals for an upcoming procedure, nearly two-thirds say they are more likely to pick a hospital with a third-party quality award over one without one.**

As more consumers look to third-party quality achievements to help them find the best care for their needs, it is imperative that they consult data-driven tools to maximize their chances of a positive outcome. Based on the most scientifically rigorous methodology in the industry, Healthgrades’ awards and ratings are an indispensable resource for both care-seeking consumers and hospitals looking to promote their outstanding quality. By focusing on what matters most–patient outcomes–Healthgrades’ achievements help hospitals differentiate their quality of care to attract new patients and increase engagement with existing patients.

Contact a Healthgrades team member to learn how you can leverage your quality achievements to meet your 2024 objectives.

*Statistics are based on Healthgrades analysis of MedPAR data for years 2020 through 2022 and represent three-year estimates for Medicare patients only.

**Healthgrades Research, n=1202, December 2023.