In an effort to continue to improve the quality of heath care services and patient safety in the state, the AARP South Carolina State Office commissioned a survey of AARP members to examine their perceptions about and experience with the health care system, particularly the care they received in hospitals. The findings reveal strong support among AARP members for changes in the current health care system.
Key findings include the following:
- 89% of the participants say that the current health care system needs change, with 52% believing that the system needs major changes.
- 85% support ensuring access to affordable, quality health care for all state residents.
- More than 80% of participants identify controlling the cost of prescription drugs, improving the quality and safety of medical care, and improving the quality of nursing home and long term care as very or extremely important issues for them personally.
- 65% say they or a family member received care in a hospital in the past 3 years. Problems they experienced included not receiving legally required written information about how to get help when medical needs were not being met, not having personal needs taken care of in a timely fashion, and not being informed of medication side effects. Further, many believe that doctors and nurses did not spend enough time with the patient.
- 72% say that having an advocate with them in the hospital would make them much more comfortable.
A total of 1,080 AARP members age 50 and older responded to a mail survey during September 9-October 7, 2008. For more information, please contact Joanne Binette at 202-434-6303. (25 pages)