Survey: Patient Satisfaction May Depend on Bedside Manner More Than Medical Skill

Online complaints about physician bedside manner and customer service were nearly four times more common than complaints about physicians' medical skills, according to a survey by Vanguard Communications.

Vanguard Communications evaluated 3,617 online reviews of 300 internists and obstetricians/gynecologists in New York City, San Diego, Denver and Austin, Texas, with the worst online reviews on Vitals.com, RateMDs.com and Yelp.com. Here are some of the key findings:


•    Fifty-three percent of the reviews gave two stars or fewer out of four or five stars.

•    The largest percentage of complaints — 43.1 percent — cited perceived physician indifference and bedside manner as problems. Specific complaints included physicians being rushed, late for scheduled appointments, not listening well or dismissive of patient concerns, according to the study.

•    Customer service was the second most common compliant at 35.3 percent. Customer service failings included staff rudeness, incorrect billing, unprofessional dress and appearance and unclean facilities, according to the study.

•    Only 21.5 percent of low ratings mentioned physician skill as a major concern.

The results suggest that patient satisfaction may depend more on physicians' personal skills and facilities' efficiency than providers' technical knowledge.

More Articles on Patient Satisfaction:

Healthcare Emotional Intelligence: Its Role in Patient Outcomes and Organizational Success
4 Creative Ways to Improve Patient Experience From University of Utah Health Care

Study: Physicians Less Likely to Bond with Overweight, Obese Patients

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