New NHC Project: Identifying Essential Questions for Patients to Ask Health Care Providers

By: Elisabeth Oehrlein, PhD, MS, Scientific Advisor & Silke Schoch, Senior Manager, Research & Programs, National Health Council

Despite high-cost health care spending, the United States ranks very low in terms of positive health care outcomes, quality, administrative efficiency, and equity. Some reforms have focused on fixing the priorities of clinicians, researchers, and policymakers, without input from patients and caregivers. A potential opportunity to improve the quality and outcomes of care is to provide more timely and relevant information about possible treatment options to patients.

Patients who are looking for information to assist them in treatment decision making often face uncertainty about what types of questions and information they should be seeking from their providers after receiving a diagnosis. The NHC has launched a new research study that will ascertain these questions titled, “Identifying essential questions for patients to ask health care providers.”

To achieve this, the NHC will interview patients with a chronic disease or disability to learn about their experiences with the U.S. health care system, their quality of care, the various treatments they chose after diagnosis, where they sought information, and suggestions for improvement to the health care system. The NHC anticipates that through this study, we will learn about what is important to patients when they are deciding among treatment options and what questions they recommend other patients ask their health care providers when deciding among treatment options. This project is expected to be complete this fall.

The NHC would like to thank and acknowledge Sanofi for providing the initial funding for this research study.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact [email protected].