Results Summary

PCORI funded the Pilot Projects to explore how to conduct and use patient-centered outcomes research in ways that can better serve patients and the healthcare community. Learn more.


Most hospitals in the United States rely on patient satisfaction ratings to see how well they are providing high-quality, patient-centered care. However, there has been little research about what affects patients’ ratings.

Project Purpose

The researchers wanted to know if hospitals’ measures of patient-centered care related to things like the outcomes of patient care or the kinds of services patients received when they arrived and when they left the hospital. They also wanted to know if the patient-centered care measurements were related to a patient’s race/ethnicity, age, gender, medical conditions, or seriousness of those conditions. The research team also looked at whether there was any connection between patient-centered care measurements and use of electronic health records in the hospital.


The researchers used information from acute care hospital records in 14 states over three years (2009–2011) to understand how different factors affected a patient’s rating of their satisfaction with their hospital stay.

The researchers used information about

  • Patients’ experience during their hospital stay
  • Age, gender, illness, race/ethnicity, and other patient characteristics
  • Whether patients got better or worse while they were at the hospital
  • How much the hospitals used electronic health records in caring for patients


Patients reported lower satisfaction scores at hospitals that had larger numbers of Medicaid patients, Medicare patients, or minority patients. Patients at hospitals owned by for-profit organizations reported lower satisfaction than patients at nonprofit hospitals. Hospitals that offered critical care also had lower patient satisfaction scores than other hospitals. Researchers found that hospitals with high patient satisfaction scores didn’t always have the best patient outcomes. They also found that patient satisfaction scores improved overall for different types of hospitals and all kinds of patients from 2009 to 2011.


The researchers only looked at one period of time. The results might be different during other years. They did not use information from all hospitals in the United States. The results might be different at other hospitals.

Importance of Findings

The findings encourage all hospitals, but especially for-profit hospitals and those that serve large numbers of Medicaid, Medicare, or minority patients, to look for ways to increase patient-centered care and improve the patient experience.

Sharing the Results

The researchers have published articles based on this work and have presented their results at meetings. (see below)

More to Explore...

Dissemination Activities

Through limited competition, PCORI awarded 25 of the 50 Pilot Projects up to $50,000 to support dissemination and implementation of their activities and findings through the PCORI Pilot Project Learning Network (PPPLN) funding. The deliverables listed below are a result of convenings and conferences supported by this funding, whose efforts align with the PCORI strategic goal of disseminating information and encouraging adoption of PCORI-funded research results.

Period: August 2015 to December 2015
Budget: $38,320

Produced a final codebook with a pilot-tested survey instrument for projects that engage Health System Leaders.

Project Information

Edmund R. Becker, PhD, MA, BS
Emory University
Patient-Centered Care: What Factors Drive Outcomes in the Hospital Setting?

Key Dates

June 2012
December 2014

Study Registration Information


Has Results
Award Type
Funding Type
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: March 4, 2022