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.
 
Main findings:

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

 
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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.

 


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