Patients Who Know Their Doctors are More Satisfied

Up to 90% of patients cannot name their treating physician after discharge, which is unfortunate since a new study revealed knowing a few facts about a doctor greatly increases patient satisfaction.

Up to 90% of patients cannot correctly name their treating physician after an inpatient admission, but a new study has shown that knowing a couple of facts about a doctor goes a long way to improving patient satisfaction.

The Vanderbilt study in the Journal of Orthopedic Trauma studied the effect of giving patients a simple biosketch card about their doctor. In the study, 100 received the cards discreetly placed by a third party, while 112 did not.

Two weeks after discharge, patients were contacted to answer Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems questions. These questions are linked to a percentage of Medicare reimbursement dollars. Furthermore patient satisfaction determines 30% of performance scores for incentive payments.

The results of the study revealed that patients who received a biosketch card reported patient satisfaction scores that were 22% higher than the group that did not receive a card.

According to Alex Jahangir, MD, an associate professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation and one of the authors of the study, told the Vanderbilt newspaper that doctors cannot forget there is a human side to medicine.

“This is an easy, cheap intervention,” Jahangir said. “As health care reimbursement shifts to reward quality rather than quantity, it is important to identify ways to improve the patient experience. This intervention is literally something that doesn’t even cost a nickel but improves a patient’s experience, and hopefully their recovery — metrics that matter not only to the institution, but to patients and their physicians.”