According to a new survey, Iowans trust their local hospitals, and check in when they need care. Overall, we seem to have good access to healthcare and a fairly high level of consumer confidence, according to a Gallup Poll commissioned by the Iowa Hospital Association.
Spokesman Scott McIntyre says a medical center’s an asset that local residents often take advantage of. More than 3 out of 4 people who responded to their poll say someone in their household hospital services in the past year, and more than half the respondents say someone in their family had used a hospital in the previous year. McIntyre says it doesn’t mean we’re sicker, just that the care’s available when we need it. In hospitals, much of the care’s on an in-patient basis, a lot of it preventive in nature — and he says consumers choosing to get that care are “on top of their health a little better than they used to be.” The survey was done for the same reason any retail business or industry would check with customers — to get a broad look at what Iowans think of healthcare and their local hospitals. “What is it that the community thinks is important, what is on their minds?” McIntyre says. “It helps us be responsive as a community organization.”
He says Iowans seem to have reasonable expectations and indicate in general they get care that’s satisfactory. Most of the poll’s respondents, 55-percent, said healthcare has improved in the state in the last five years, and 85-percent said Iowa’s healthcare is at least as good as the rest of the nation — or better.
Affordability’s a big issue with Iowa health-care consumers surveyed this year. And that’s not just the cost of healthcare in hospitals, McIntyre explains. “It’s the cost of insurance, the cost of prescription drugs, there is just a squeeze all the way around when it comes to health care.” He says it’s a national priority, and the industry needs to keep looking at ways to make healthcare, insurance and accessibility affordable to everyone.