Doctors vs Patients: Communication Gap
Only 18% of patients remember their doctor’s name.
In 2010 Douglas P. Olson and Donna M. Windish (both MD) published a research focusing on physician vs patient perception of what information a patient received in a hospital. 89 patients and 43 physicians participated.
• 67% of physicians thought patients knew their names
• 18% of patients correctly named their physician
• 77% of physicians believed patients knew their diagnosis
• 57% of patients knew their diagnosis
• 21% of physicians stated they always provided explanations of some kind
• 58% of patients thought that physicians always explained things in a comprehensible way
• 98% of physicians stated they at least sometimes discussed their patients’ fears and anxieties
• 54% of patients said their physicians never discussed their patients’ fears and anxieties
• 67% of patients reported receiving a new medication in the hospital
• 90% of patients noted never being told of any adverse effects of these medications
Olson and Windish conclude that patient-physician gap in communication should be identified and improved for it is critical in establishing good clinical relationships and improving medication adherence and patient satisfaction.
* Olson DP, Windish DM. Communication Discrepancies Between Physicians and Hospitalized Patients. Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(15):1302–1307.