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Uncovering the blind spot of patient satisfaction and patient expectations: An international survey
Date:10/25/2011

Boston, MA -- Patient satisfaction is increasingly recognized as an important component of quality of care. To achieve a high level of patient satisfaction, providers need to identify and address patients' expectations. However, a new international survey conducted by researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School reveals that while clinicians think it is important to ask patients about their expectations, they often fail to do so and consequently may not respond adequately. This research is published in the November issue of the British Medical Journal: Quality and Safety and was selected as the Editor's choice, making it available online in full text at no cost.

"Although nearly all clinicians we surveyed indicated that it was important to ask patients about their expectations, only a few reported actually asking. This discrepancy appears to uncover a blind spot in clinicians' approach when attempting to address patient expectations and improve patient satisfaction," said Ronen Rozenblum, PhD, MPH, lead author of the paper and a researcher in the Department of Medicine at BWH. "Despite emphasis on Patient-Centered Care by many groups these findings raise concerns regarding the responsiveness of clinicians towards the subjective needs and expressed preferences of individual patients," Rozenblum said.

Researchers surveyed 1004 clinicians, both physicians and nurses, from four academic medical centers in Denmark, the United States, Israel and the UK. The survey included questions that focused on clinicians' awareness, attitudes, competence and performance with respect to patient expectations. Researchers report that almost nine in ten clinicians felt their awareness of patient expectations was inadequate. They also discovered that while 89.4 percent of clinicians believed it was important to ask patients about expectations, only 16.1 percent reported actually asking. This result varies by country with Denm
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Contact: Lori J. Shanks
ljshanks@partners.org
617-534-1604
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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