85% of patients value compassion over cost in healthcare: 4 findings

Despite the rising costs of healthcare and long wait times for appointments, patients and physicians rank compassion as the most important aspect of healthcare today, according to a HealthTap survey.

To determine what patients and physicians valued most, HealthTap surveyed physicians and patients on the role of compassion in medicine.

Here are four findings from the survey.

1. When making a healthcare decision, 85 percent of patients said compassion was very important to them, while only 31 percent of patients said cost was very important.

2. Although wait time to see a medical provider is often considered a barrier to patients' happiness, only 48 percent of patients cited it as a very important factor in healthcare satisfaction.

3. Eighty-nine percent of physicians cited compassion as a very important part of delivering the best care, which was higher than the importance physicians placed on education and command of medical knowledge (86 percent).

4. Nearly all — 94 percent — of physicians said being compassionate makes their patients more likely to follow their advice, which can significantly improve patients' health outcomes.

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