Doc Talk #78 – Patient satisfaction



We talked about patient satisfaction in this show. You might think that the more satisfied patients are the better, right? In this show we uncovered some rather alarming evidence

The most satisfied patients were 26% more likely to die!

The relationship between patient satisfaction and hard healthcare outcomes (such as your risk of dying from a heart attack) is rather tenuous at best.

Healthcare is complicated and there are huge asymmetries of information between healthcare professionals and providers – it is actually very difficult for patients to know whether they are really getting good care, or whether the healthcare staff are simply being nice to them.

This doesn’t mean we should completely disregard patient satisfaction and patient experience – it is undoubtedly important and how patients are treated is crucial. The patient is the real expert when it comes to their own experience, but they are not usually experts in what constitutes the best technical clinical care.

An undue focus on satisfaction to the extent of other factors can negatively impact clinical care. Recognition of these different, but overlapping, expert spheres can help us untangle the mess.

We finished on an upbeat note: feedback is extremely helpful in improving healthcare; but we should take as much time and expend as much energy (perhaps more?) on giving positive feedback, as we do complaining about things!

Can you imagine if every time you have a positive interaction with someone in the healthcare system, you gave good feedback, we’d get some great positive feedback loops!

Click the link above to listen again and learn more.