Physician Interaction Best Predictor of Patient Satisfaction

Doctor with patient

Patient satisfaction following plastic surgery is most affected by surgeon-related factors, such as taking the time to answer questions and including patients in the decision-making process, according to the results of a patient survey published in the September issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. By comparison, practice-related issues, such as wait time and interactions with office staff, have a much weaker effect on patient satisfaction scores.

In 2016, Neil Tanna, MD, MBA, and colleagues at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell in New York distributed a 24-item Press Ganey survey to patients of 686 plastic surgeons nationwide. After analyzing 36,836 responses the researchers found that office hours or scheduling appointments, waiting times, interactions with nurses or staff other than the surgeon, and attention to patient privacy or safety had weak correlations to a patient’s likelihood to recommend the surgeon or practice. In contrast, the items with the strongest correlation included patient's level of confidence in the surgeon and the surgeon’s concern for the patient’s questions and worries. Other important factors included the surgeon's explanations of the problem or condition and efforts to include the patient in decisions.

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