What qualities do patients want in their providers?

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More than half of Americans find information about quality of healthcare difficult to come by and difficult to trust. Most focus on their physicians' interactions (59 percent), rather than health outcomes (29 percent) or other metrics, when rating evaluating quality of care. Here are the most important factors for Americans when considering quality of providers, according to a survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago.

  • Listens and/or is attentive — 18 percent
  • Accuracy of diagnosis/competence — 11 percent
  • Caring attitude — 8 percent
  • Good bedside manner/relationship with parents — 8 percent
  • Knowledgeable — 8 percent
  • Positive personality traits — 7 percent
  • Spends time with patients — 5 percent
  • Other — 5 percent
  • Good communication skills — 5 percent
  • Accessible — 5 percent
  • Thorough attention to detail — 4 percent
  • Education/training — 4 percent
  • Experience — 3 percent
  • Office environment — 2 percent
  • Medical values/philosophy — 2 percent
  • Puts patients first —1 percent
  • Affordable — 1 percent
  • Accepts my insurance — less than 1 percent
Most receive information about quality of providers from their friends and family, newspapers and magazines, healthcare providers and health insurance companies. Information is perceived as most trustworthy when it comes from a known source — a family member, friend or known physician.

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