Massachusetts Health Quality Partners presents a recent survey of patient experiences with primary care. There are both positive and negative findings, compared with a survey conducted before the implementation of universal health care access in the state.
About 78,000 commercially insured patients responded to the statewide survey. There was reported overall improvement in several dimensions of the doctor-patient relationship, such as communication and knowledge of their patients, but there are aspects of doctor-patient communications that need work. A summary:
There is broad agreement that there are important dimensions of care that patients and their families should expect to receive from their primary care practice. Key findings in MHQP's latest patient experience survey highlight where there continues to be room for improvement in these aspects of care, including:
Knowledge of the patient: When asked if their primary care physician seemed to know their medical history and to know them as a person, both adults and the parents of pediatric patients reported improvements compared with 2007; but 30 percent of adult patients and 25 percent of parents say their primary care physicians do not always know important medical history information.
Informed of test results: The survey found that about 30 percent of adult and pediatric patients did not always receive follow-up reports on test results from their doctor's office, unchanged from 2007.
Coordination between primary care doctors and specialists: About 40 percent of adult patients and 35 percent of parents of pediatric patients reported that their physician did not always seem well-informed about the care they received from specialists to whom they had been referred. Pediatric results were slightly better than two years ago, while adult ratings were unchanged.