Healthcare News & Insights

Survey: 85% of patients pick compassion over cost when choosing doctors

Compassion is a key component of high-quality care, but would you expect it to take precedence over price when it comes to your hospital’s providers? A new survey revealed that’s the case for 85% of patients. 

Health technology company HealthTap released a new report showing that when ranking doctors, compassion is more important to patients than cost or wait times.

In the survey, 85% of patients reported compassion is very important to them when making a decision about health care, while only 31% said the same about cost and 48% said the same of wait times. Additionally, 85% of patients said a knowledgeable provider is very important to them.

The report also surveyed doctors about the importance of compassion, knowledge, cost and wait times. Of those surveyed, 89% said compassion is very important and 86% said being knowledgeable is very important. In contrast, only 28% said the same of wait times, and 16% said low costs were very important.

Since compassion is such a key metric for many patients, it’s crucial to ensure your staff members are exhibiting positive attitudes every day.

Compassion takes many forms

While the traditional definition of compassion in hospitals may involve treating patients with kindness and understanding during their visit, that’s not the only element to consider.

Compassionate care also includes anticipating patients’ needs, along with respecting their opinions and wishes.

Hospital visits and stays can be depressing and demoralizing for patients. There are extra rules they have to follow that they might not fully understand, and often they’re in pain or confused. Maintaining a positive attitude and a high level of compassion can make the experience better for patients, which in turn makes things easier for your staff.

Example: Many patients don’t want a nurse watching them use the bathroom, even when it may be necessary for fall prevention. Figure out how to find a compromise between what the patient wants and the safest option, such as giving patients privacy when using the restroom, but requiring them to have a nurse in their room who can hear if anything happens.

When providers are compassionate and respectful, patients are more satisfied with their care, and that reflects positively on your organization.

Recruitment options

Emphasizing compassion at your facility starts before patients even enter the hospital. Hiring providers with better social skills can go a long way toward improving your organization’s culture of compassion.

Studies show staff members with high emotional intelligence work better in teams and provide better patient care, so when recruiting new staff, look beyond professional qualifications and degrees, and take soft skills into account.

Although compassion isn’t tangible, its absence is keenly felt. That means it’s essential for healthcare executives to always remind clinical staff about the importance of kindness and compassion in patient interactions.

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