Survey Shows Which Factors Make High Quality Doctors in America

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23rd July 2014 13:44 - Health

A recent study, conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, has revealed Americans’ priorities when it comes to choosing a doctor or other health care provider (HCP), and the most important traits a good doctor needs to possess.

The survey, which questioned 1,002 adults (18 years+), discovered that doctor-patient relationships (59%) ranked more highly than doctors’ delivery of care and patients’ own health outcomes (29%).

Furthermore, the ability to: listen, be attentive and show interest in patients (18%) was deemed the most important factor that makes a high quality doctor or other HCP, ahead of accurate diagnosis and competence (11%), a caring attitude (8%) and a good bedside manner (8%). Other desirable traits included: good knowledge, positive personality traits and time spent with patients.

At the other end of the spectrum, when asked what factors made a poor-quality doctor or other HCP, around one fifth (17%) said not listening or being attentive, one in 10 said not spending enough time with patients, marginally less said misdiagnosis and incompetence (9%) and the same percentage said being overbooked or difficult to make appointments with (9%).

Elsewhere, when deciding on a doctor or other HCP to go with, institutions who accept the individual’s insurance was voted most important by almost nine in 10 (88%). More than eight in 10 favoured the provider’s experience with procedures and treatments, ahead of the impression they make during face-to-face meetings (81%), time spent with patients (80%) and how long it takes to get an appointment (around three quarters).

According to the survey’s findings, the least important factors when choosing a doctor or other HCP are whether they: charge more than other providers (46%), rate highly on patient review websites (26%) or are rated best by local media (15%).

In addition, almost three fifths (58%) of the survey’s participants believed that publicly reporting information on how much doctors or other HCPs charge for their services would lead to improvements in the quality of care they provide – three in 10 (31%) said ‘yes a lot’ and 27% said ‘yes a little’.

A net total of 71% said that publicly publishing health outcomes of patients would equate to quality advancements, with almost four fifths (77%) believing that distributing information on patient satisfaction and the effectiveness of the treatments or procedures institutions provide, would have the same effect.

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