Patients want more information from their doctor

Patients want more information from their doctor

Patient survey: one in five would like better information from the attending physician.

(17.06.2010) Around every fifth patient would like a better explanation from the doctor. Patients should be better involved in decisions about upcoming therapies and treatments, a study on behalf of Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) showed. The health insurance company had around 1000 people questioned by an opinion institute. The main aim of the survey was to measure the satisfaction of the outpatient treatment of general practitioners.

It often takes a long time to find the right doctor. With many doctors there is a real "through traffic". There is hardly any time for a detailed discussion between doctor and patient. In especially large medical practices, many doctors hardly take time for their patients and often do not give transparent insights into the upcoming treatments. Around 60 percent of those questioned stated that they were not sufficiently informed about alternatives to possible therapies. "Doctor and patient do not always meet on an equal footing," said the head of TK health insurance, Norbert Klusen. About 40 percent of those questioned also stated that they were not sufficiently informed about possible side effects of drugs. Overall, however, 95 percent of patients are "bottom line" satisfied with their doctor. According to the results of the study, if patients are treated longer by the doctor, satisfaction also increases.

In this context, the health insurance company also points out that German citizens go to the doctor too often. Around half of the study participants stated that they had seen a doctor at least once in the past four weeks. Around 90 percent of those surveyed said they had seen a doctor in the last six months. This could of course also be an indication that the doctor's advice was too short and too in-transparent.

Another result of the survey also makes you sit up and take notice. About 50 percent of those questioned said they were "chronically ill". For the health insurance company, this is an indication that there is a high, so-called claim to the doctors. In our opinion, however, it could also be the case that the forms of treatment are not sufficient and the core of the disease could not be fathomed. If around 60 percent of the respondents complained that they were not sufficiently informed about possible alternatives, there could be a connection.

AOK recently put a so-called doctor's navigator online. AOK patients can rate their doctor online and answer around 30 questions. This should give patients a better overview of which doctor takes enough time for treatments and how long the waiting times were. (sb)

Also read:
Online evaluation by doctors

Image: Image: Dieter Sch├╝tz /

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