Subject: Friend, Patient Satisfaction Is Overrated

Hello Friend,

I wanted to share this article with you..

In a new published article, Dr. William Sonnenberg, MD, found that “ satisfied patients are not healthy patients. In a paper published in 2012, researchers at the University of California, Davis, using data from nearly 52,000 adults, found that the most satisfied patients spent the most on healthcare and prescription drugs. They were 12% more likely to be admitted to the hospital and accounted for 9% more in total healthcare costs. Strikingly, they were also the ones more likely to die”.

Dr Sonnenbeg also wrote “Overtreatment is a silent killer. We can overtreat and overprescribe. The patients will be happy, give us good ratings, yet be worse off. We must have the ability to deny treatment for a patient's own good. Patients aren't the best judge of what is best for them”.

Dr Sonnenbeg advice is “We should try to be kind to our patients and take time to understand them, but we must resist these misguided pressures and do the right thing. Sometimes patients have to be told "no," and the leadership in healthcare must understand this. Take heart in the words of Mark Twain: "Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

This article first appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of Keystone Physician, a publication of the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians. 


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Dr Al Imari, MD.