Consumers' association of hospital reputation with healthcare quality

Justin Ziemba, Steven Arenberg, Holly Reustle, Mohamad E. Allaf, Dalal Haldeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Why consumers consistently rank hospital reputation as one of the most important factors when selecting health care services remains unknown. We hypothesized that this is explained by consumers associating reputation with objective quality. We performed a cross-sectional, US population-based survey of consumers N = 23,410 exploring this association. A Spearman rank order correlation was used to measure the strength of this relationship. Subgroups of consumers more likely to associate the two was explored with multivariable logistic regression. Consumers commonly agree 56% that a hospital's reputation is the same as its quality of health care. Consumers also associate hospital reputation with the belief that they will be less like to suffer a complication ρ = 0.509 or die ρ = 0.441, although the strength of these relationships were modest all p < 0.01. Consumers who were male OR: 0.84, Hispanic OR: 0.82, African American OR: 0.86, married OR: 0.85, self-reported as healthy OR: 0.67, and had a recent hospitalization OR: 0.70 were less likely to believe that reputation and quality were equivalent all p < 0.01. This data suggests that consumers link the construct of hospital reputation with objective health care quality, but this pattern of behavior is of concern, particularly when reputation does not align with objective data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-258
Number of pages8
JournalJournal for Healthcare Quality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • consumer preference
  • public opinion
  • quality of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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