Quality care not always enough

An occasional snapshot of current facts and trends in medicine.

Quick View. Posted Dec. 17, 2007

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Poor customer service has led one in four Americans to change, or consider changing, physicians.

Patients want "real empathy" and not just good medicine, said a recent survey by Katzenbach Partners, a New York-based consultancy. Given equal quality of care and insurance acceptance, more than half of survey respondents said they chose hospitals and physicians based on whether they believed their needs were understood. Meanwhile, 20% said their choices were based on convenience to their homes. The survey compared perceptions of health care customer service against other industries and addressed common patient complaints.

Source: "Katzenbach Partners Healthcare Empathy Poll," conducted by telephone Oct. 18-21 with 1,003 Americans. Data include interviews with 842 Americans who self-reported that they have been a patient or a visitor in a hospital or clinic during the past three years.

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