Background Our healthcare system is moving towards patient-centered and value-based care models that prioritize health outcomes that matter to patients. However, little is known about what aspects of care patients would prioritize when presented with choices of desirable attributes and whether these patient priorities differ based on certain demographics. Objective To assess patients' priorities for a range of attributes in ambulatory care consultations across five key health service delivery domains and determine potential associations between patient priorities and certain demographic profiles. Methods Using a What Matters to You survey patients ranked in order of importance various choices related to five health service domains (patient-physician relationship, personal responsibility, test/procedures, medications, and cost). Subjects were selected from two Johns Hopkins affiliated primary care clinics and a third gastroenterology subspecialty clinic over a period of 11 months. We calculated the percentage of respondents who selected each quality as their top 1-3 choice. Univariate and multivariate analyses determined demographic characteristics associated with patient priorities. Results Humanistic qualities of physicians, leading a healthy lifestyle, shared decision making (SDM) for medications and tests/procedures as well as knowledge about insurance coverage were the most frequently ranked choices. Privately insured and more educated patients were less likely to rank humanistic qualities highly. Those with younger age, higher educational attainment and private insurance had higher odds of ranking healthy lifestyle as a top choice. Those with more education had higher odds of ranking SDM as a top choice. Conclusions Identifying what matters most to patients is useful as we move towards patient-centered and Value Based Care Models. Our findings suggest that patients have priorities on qualities they value across key health service domains. Multiple factors including patient demographics can be predictors of these priorities. Elucidating these preferences is a challenging but a valuable step in the right direction.
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