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Research Project to Give Hospitals Tools for Building Patient Trust


WASHINGTON — America’s Essential Hospitals has launched a research project to help essential hospitals build and maintain trust among vulnerable patients.

The association’s research, education, and dissemination arm, Essential Hospitals Institute, will conduct the project with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“We look forward to broadly sharing practices that help essential hospitals promote trust and cultivate mutual respect among the vulnerable populations we serve,” said Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals. “We are grateful for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s generous support.”

In the project’s first phase, the Institute will survey vulnerable patients at essential hospitals to identify key factors that affect this population’s overall trust in hospitals and health systems. In the second phase, researchers will make site visits to a diverse set of essential hospitals to interview hospital leadership, conduct patient focus groups, and review relevant hospital policies and practices. Drawing on themes and patterns that emerge from the site visits, the Institute will produce a checklist and detailed guide for building patient trust in hospitals that fill a safety-net role.

“While previous research has focused on patient trust in providers, this study is novel for its focus on trust at the health system level and among vulnerable patients,” said Kalpana Ramiah, PhD, the Institute’s director and the association’s vice president of innovation. “We look forward to learning how essential hospitals promote trust and equity within the communities they serve to improve patient experience.”

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About America’s Essential Hospitals

America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. We support our more than 325 members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education. Communities depend on essential hospitals to provide specialized, lifesaving services; train the health care workforce; advance public health and health equity; and coordinate care. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead the way to more effective and efficient care. Learn more at

About Essential Hospitals Institute

Essential Hospitals Institute is the research and quality arm of America’s Essential Hospitals. The Institute supports the nation’s essential hospitals as they provide high-quality, equitable, and affordable care to their communities. Working with members of America’s Essential Hospitals, we identify promising practices from the field, conduct research, disseminate innovative strategies, and help our members improve their organizational performance. We do all of this with an eye toward improving individual and population health, especially for vulnerable people.

Carl Graziano


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