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The Commonwealth Fund Survey of Public Views of the U.S. Health Care System, 2008

Country: United States

Survey Organization: Harris Interactive, Inc.

Field Dates: May 23, 2008–May 27, 2008

Sample: A representative sample of 1,004 adults age 18 and older, living in households with telephones in the continental United States.

Sample Size: 1,004 adults

Interview Method: Harris Interactive selected the sample using random-digit dialing—a technique to ensure geographic representation of households with listed and unlisted telephone numbers. Samples of this size have an overall margin of sampling error of +/– 3 percent.

On behalf of The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System, Harris Interactive surveyed a random sample of 1,004 U.S. adults (age 18 and older) to determine their experiences and perspectives on the organization of the nation's health care system and ways to improve patient care. Eight of 10 respondents agreed that the health system needs either fundamental change or complete rebuilding. Adults' health care experiences underscore the need to organize care systems to ensure timely access, better coordination, and better flow of information among doctors and patients. There is also a need to simplify health insurance administration. There was broad agreement among survey respondents that wider use of health information systems and greater care coordination could improve patient care. The majority of adults say it is very important for the 2008 presidential candidates to seek reforms to address health care quality, access, and costs.