Skeptical Scalpel: Patient satisfaction and reality

You. Don’t. Say.

Christmas came early for us skeptics this year. In a landmark study, certainly one of the most interesting and thought-provoking of the year-to-date, researchers from the University of California-Davis found that the more satisfied patients were with their physicians, the higher their hospital admission rates, prescription costs and total costs were. And patients with the highest level of satisfaction with their doctors had higher mortality rates compared to those patients least satisfied with their doctors.

via Skeptical Scalpel: Patient satisfaction and reality.

Anecdotally, I think that the push for higher patient satisfaction has led directly to underperforming docs doing things they wouldn’t normally do. This isn’t good medicine, it’s playing a very dangerous game.


  1. Wow, this should be taken seriously, just because someone wants admitted to the hospital or their family wants them admitted more like, doesn’t mean they will get better. After all the sickest people in the community are in the hospital is that where you want your mom or grandma hanging out?

    It is often harder and more time consuming to explain this to people but, it is what we should be doing. And guess what they may not be happy. A good analogy is that the best parent does the things their kids don’t like but, what’s BEST for them.