Competition and consumer empowerment has spurred improvements at medical practices across the nation and patient satisfaction is inching upwards as a result, according to findings in a report from Press Ganey Associates, Inc. The 2009 Medical Practice Pulse Report: Patient Perspectives on American Health Care illustrates the impact of consumer-driven health care in which patients are making more proactive decisions about their own care. The report is based on the experiences of nearly 2.4 million patients treated at more than 10,000 locations across the nation in 2008.
The report found physicians are motivated to implement changes to better retain patients and maintain a financially successful practice. This focus, in part, is linked to additional means for consumers to access, compare, and select the source of their health care. Pay-for-reporting and pay-for-performance initiatives are bringing even more national attention to patients’ perceptions of their care and escalating the importance for caregivers to know what consumers are thinking and understand how patients define quality health care services.