According to research from the American College of Physicians (ACP), the level of personal connection between a patient and doctor can affect the quality of care provided. This reflects the growing trend of patient-centered care, where the patient has taken an increasingly central role in care.
With the rise in different medical specialties, it has become increasingly common for patients to see a number of providers. But the ACP study, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, argues that this could lead to decreased effectiveness of treatment.
"The process of establishing a strong relationship with a specific physician may represent an important key to understanding disparities in care," Dr. Steven Atlas, director of primary care quality improvement at Massachusetts General Hospital, said in an American College of Physicians news release. "Greater insight into the role of patient-, provider- or practice-level barriers to establishing a closely connected primary care relationship may lead to improved quality of care for vulnerable patients."
The study explored the experience of 155,590 adults in a primary care network. Not only was it found that those without a connection to a specific doctor were less likely to receive recommended care, they were also less likely to follow physician treatment orders for preventative care measures.
However, it can be difficult for a patient to find a doctor that matches their care philosophy through the traditional means of referrals from family and friends. The internet has emerged as the premier means of finding a doctor, with online reviews helping patients make informed choices when selecting a provider.
Patient Approved helps patients find better care through assisting them in best provider they feel most comfortable with. The Patient Approved system also helps providers improve their own practice through analysis of honest and straightforward patient reviews.