A very nice blog post described the difficulty in getting some doctors to recognize the importance of measuring patients’ satisfaction. The blog post differentiated patient satisfaction from “clinical quality.”
While the blog post was right on the mark in many ways, differentiating patient satisfaction from quality of care may be a mistake. Patient satisfaction is a critical dimension of the quality of medical care. Sure, making the right diagnosis and prescribing the right treatment are essential elements of good medical care, but patient satisfaction is an essential element as well. To achieve great medical care, patients must feel cared for. The way to find out if that’s being achieved is to ask them.