To determine whether patient perception of time spent with a hand surgeon relates to patient satisfaction after a single new-patient office visit.
Prior to each visit, 112 consecutive new patients predicted how much time they expected to spend with the surgeon. Following the visit, patients were asked to estimate the time spent with the surgeon, indicate whether the surgeon appeared rushed, and rate their overall satisfaction with the surgeon. Wait time and actual visit duration were measured. Patients also completed a sociodemographic survey, the Consultation and Relational Empathy Measure, the Newest Vital Sign Health Literacy test, and 3 Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System–based questionnaires: Upper Extremity Function, Pain Interference, and Depression. Multivariable logistic and linear regression models were used to determine predictors of patient satisfaction, patient-perceived surgeon rush, and high previsit expectations of visit duration.
Patient satisfaction was not associated with perceived visit duration but did correlate strongly with patient-rated surgeon empathy and symptoms of depression. Neither visit duration nor previsit expectations of visit length were determinants of patient-perceived surgeon rush. Only surgeon empathy was associated. Less-educated patients anticipated needing more time with the surgeon.
Patient satisfaction with the surgeon and with the time spent during the office visit was primarily linked to surgeon empathy rather than to visit duration or previsit expectation of visit length. Efforts to make hand surgery office visits more patient-centered should focus on improving dialogue quality, and not necessarily on making visits longer.
Author: Parrish II, R. C., Menendez, M. E., Mudgal, C. S., Jupiter, J. B., Chen, N. C., & Ring, D. (2015).
Source: The Journal of Hand Surgery, 41(2), 257-262.https://www.jhandsurg.org/article/S0363-5023(15)01495-1/fulltext