What patients can tell us on a survey about their experience with their doctors is, of course, key to knowing how satisfied consumers are with doctors, and with the whole health care system. That is certainly important to know about a trillion-dollar industry that has such a big effect on our lives.
But even more important is what the information from this survey of patients tells us about how good a doctor is at helping patients stay healthy or get better (without a lot of discomfort, wasted time, or cost). Let's look at a few examples of the survey's questions.
"In the last 12 months, how often did this doctor listen carefully to you?"
"In the last 12 months, how often did this doctor explain things in a way that was easy to understand?"