Does better patient satisfaction cause higher mortality?

There is a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine regarding the relation between multiple factors including mortality with patient satisfaction scores.

The results were quite interesting and this study included a large group of patients.  It raises many questions.  Are we moving in the right direction with putting so much effort into patient satisfaction?  Shouldn’t we be doing what’s medically appropriate regardless of whether the patient agrees.  It’s important to communicate with your patients and update them etc.. but, when it comes to medical decisions the physician should have most of the say.  Would you tell the electrician how to wire your house or the vet on how to treat your dog?

Typically, when the patient starts dictating their care and getting what they think they need for example, being admitted to the hospital or having invasive procedures.  Bad things happen.  Don’t forget about Murphy’s Law people.

A Death Knell for Press Ganey?

Interesting read at EP Monthly

The Cost of Satisfaction – Abstract

A National Study of Patient Satisfaction, Health Care Utilization, Expenditures, and Mortality

Joshua J. Fenton, MD, MPH; Anthony F. Jerant, MD; Klea D. Bertakis, MD, MPH; Peter Franks, MD

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(5):405-411. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.1662

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