Navigation Links
New UC Davis study finds physician style and HMO affiliation impact lengths of patient visit
Date:12/5/2007

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Apart from a more complicated medical case, what makes different physicians spend different amounts of time with their patients" Researchers at UC Davis have identified several key doctor- and practice-specific characteristics that affect the length of a patients medical appointment, and ultimately with a patients satisfaction with the doctors visit.

In a new study, "Primary Care Visit Length, Quality, and Satisfaction for Standardized Patients with Depression" in the December 2007 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Estella Geraghty and her colleagues found several key determinants for visit length, ranging from individual style and practice volume to whether a physician practiced within a health maintenance organization (HMO) or whether the doctor had any nonprofessional experience with depression.

Identifying the key predictors that drive the length of doctor visits has long remained elusive, despite much effort by researchers. Using what are called "standardized patients" -- actors who have been carefully coached to simulate specific patient ailments -- Geraghty and her team were able to control patient presentations and more accurately gauge physician practices.

Researchers found that visit length for patients with similar conditions varied more than 10-fold among primary care physicians, with much of the variation attributed to individual physician styles. Doctors working in HMOs and those with the busiest schedules, for example, spent significantly less time with patients. Physicians with personal or vicarious experience with depression, however, spent more time with their patients. They spent as much as 11 percent more time with depressed patients than doctors who did not have that connection with the ailment.

The study found that despite using standardized patients to control for variability in cases, visit times still ranged significantly, from about six minutes to more than 72 minutes, with an average visit lasting approximately 22 minutes.

Geraghty, an assistant professor of clinical internal medicine at UC Davis, pointed out that meeting patients desires for longer visits tends to conflict with the pressures faced by most physicians in established practices.

"Physicians who work in HMOs or who have busy practices risk jeopardizing patient satisfaction because, inevitably, their patient visits are shorter," she said. "Patient satisfaction is an important component of care because it influences a patients adherence to a physicians recommended plan for treatment. Consequently, there is a constant tension between practice efficiency and providing a long enough visit to satisfy the patient."

Geraghty noted that it could be important for doctors who cant easily carve out more time for consultations with their patients to find alternative ways to improve patient satisfaction. She said small steps, such as exhibiting greater empathy, enhancing active listening skills, decreasing waiting-room time, asking more open-ended questions about primary complaints and allowing patients to respond with minimal interruption could help compensate for unavoidably short visit lengths.

The study involved 298 primary care visits by 18 standardized patients to physicians at medical offices in California and New York. Standardized patients are healthy persons trained to portray the personal history, physical symptoms, emotional characteristics and everyday concerns of an actual patient. Using these actor-patients helped Geraghty and her colleagues limit the uncontrolled variability associated with patient differences encountered when using real-life patients.

The researchers concluded that more study is needed to examine the relationship of quality and visit length and to understand how physicians can maximize patient satisfaction within a reasonable amount of time.


'/>"/>

Contact: Charles Casey
charles.casey@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9048
University of California - Davis - Health System
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. S.C. BlueCross Creates Corporate Planning Unit, Promotes Davis to Vice President
2. ABC TV San Francisco Features Canine Cancer Research Story: Saving Our Dogs, Helping Humans Beat Cancer - Work at Morris Animal Foundation, UC-Davis
3. After Dropping 162 Pounds, Jodi Davis Inspires Other Michigan Women to Get Moving and Lose Weight Through WalkyTalk.com(TM)
4. UC Davis researchers find evidence of mature heart cell potential in embryonic stem cells
5. UC Davis researchers discover novel pathway to increased inflammation in diabetes patients
6. UC Davis researchers identify a cellular pathway that makes prostate cancer fatal
7. Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
8. New study shows promise in reducing surgical risks associated with surgical bleeding
9. Study, meta-analysis examine factors associated with death from heatstroke
10. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
11. Study says COPD testing is not measuring up
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/31/2016)... ... ... More than 80 representatives of the Hepatitis B Foundation , Hepatitis C ... event on National Hepatitis Testing Day outside of Philadelphia City Hall to raise awareness ... liver cancer. , Foundation leaders and the citywide coalition they created, Hep B United ...
(Date:5/31/2016)... ... May 31, 2016 , ... Twenty years ago it was revolutionary: ... trying to silence the voices they hear. But this approach has proven transformative, both ... method has steadily gained credibility and now is used around the world, but it ...
(Date:5/31/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 31, 2016 , ... ... attribute calls back to particular advertising campaigns, to monitor the performance of sales ... they can maximize conversions and revenue. The software allows customers to record, transcribe, ...
(Date:5/31/2016)... ... ... Like jewels in a crown, the multiple awards presented to Fayez Spa confirm ... day spa and one of Canada’s few accredited 5 Star Spas! , The ... spa services with hair and beauty services and has resulted in creating ...
(Date:5/31/2016)... ... , ... Spectrum Aquatics has launched a brand new ADA pool lift, the ... the user in mind. , “Over the last two years our key customers and ... lbs lift is a necessary requirement for certain facilities with specific needs,” said Nabil ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... TARE (Transarterial Radio-embolization) Using ... and Overall Decreased Use of Hospital Resource ... specialist healthcare company, has today announced the publication ... of ISPOR (International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes ... using yttrium-90 glass microspheres is associated with cost ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Since its commercial introduction in ... life science tool for conducting genetic studies in a ... in its new report that the industry sits on ... by a range of new applications in the clinical ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140723/694805 ) , Since the Human ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... PUNE, India , May 25, 2016 ... "Medical Animation Market by Type (3D, 2D, 4D), by ... Patient Education), by End User (Medical Device Manufacturers, Hospitals/ ... report studies the global Medical Animation Market for the ... expected to reach USD 301.3 Million by 2021 from ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: