Blog | Friday, May 3, 2013

QD: News Every Day--What patients gripe about the most

Patients gripe most about getting unclear explanations of problems, a Consumer Reports survey said.

The magazine surveyed 1,000 people in a nationally representative sample about 16 things that might bug them during a doctor visit on a 1-to-10 scale, with 1 meaning  not bothered at all and 10 meaning  bothered tremendously.

Unclear explanations ranked 8.1 out of 10, the magazine reported, followed by slow test results (7.9), billing disputes (7.8), getting sick appointments (7.8) and rushed office visits (7.8). The top five were within 0.4 points, so were considered not a meaningful difference.

Of the 16 complaints reported, the least bothersome were the doctor discouraging alternative treatments (5.7), filling out many forms (6.1), doctors using a device to take notes (6.2), not renewing prescriptions without a visit (6.2) and inconvenient office hours (6.5).

Consumer Reports also noted that women were much more bothered than men about private discussions taking place within earshot of other patients, rushed office visits, too-early release of hospital patients, inconvenient office hours and note-taking on a device that interferes with face-to-face interactions. Seniors were more bothered by having to fill out long forms than those under 65.