Does more time with patients mean higher satisfaction for spine surgeons? New study says no — 6 key findings


A new study published in Spine examines determinants of patient-reported outcomes data.


The study authors contacted 200 patients over the phone within three weeks of a new patient encounter for 11 spine providers and gathered answers for a 25-question patient satisfaction survey. The questions covered scheduling, parking, office staff and wait times as well as teamwork, radiology provider interactions and behavior, treatment and follow-up.


Study authors found:


1. There was significant provider satisfaction as well as overall clinic visit satisfaction.


2. The perceived quality of care was associated with satisfaction among the following factors:


• Appointment scheduling
• Parking
• Office staff
• Teamwork
• Wait time
• Radiology
• Provider interactions and behavior
• Treatment
• Follow-up communication


3. Patients reported higher satisfaction when nurse practitioners and residents were involved with the case.


4. The study authors didn't find evidence that pain medicine prescription played a significant role in satisfaction.


5. Patients who reported provider empathy and satisfaction with their explanation of medical condition and treatment reported higher provider satisfaction scores. However, the amount of time providers spent with the patient wasn't significantly associated with the provider satisfaction score.


6. The teamwork between practice staff and clinicians as well as coordinated follow-up communication was significantly associated with patient satisfaction for the overall clinic visit and quality of care. The provider's behavior didn't factor into patient satisfaction.


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