Patient satisfaction and physician productivity: complementary or mutually exclusive?

Center for Health Research, Geisinger Clinic, Danville, Pennsylvania 17822, USA.
American Journal of Medical Quality (Impact Factor: 1.78). 08/2009; 24(6):498-504. DOI: 10.1177/1062860609338869
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Motivating physicians to increase productivity and maximize patient satisfaction may result in conflicted behavior, raising questions about whether one must be sacrificed for the other. To determine if high satisfaction (measured by Press Ganey patient satisfaction survey) can be achieved while maintaining high productivity (measured in McGladrey relative value units, MRVU), longitudinal data collected from January 2002 to July 2004 were modeled using repeated measures regression. A total of 136 000 patient-completed satisfaction questionnaires evaluating 417 physicians were collected for analysis. Patient confidence (positively correlated; P = .001) and physician/patient time (inversely correlated; P = .001) were associated with higher physician productivity. Increases in MRVU were associated with decreases in patient perceptions of time with the physician (P = .003). The relationships between patient satisfaction and physician productivity were relatively small, suggesting that they are not necessarily incompatible and that both can be improved simultaneously.

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