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Lessons learned: What patients said about their experience in primary care practices

January 24, 2019 / Joanne Finnegan

What makes a good doctor? Just ask their patients. Based on a new survey, it becomes clear that good communication with their physicians, as well as with other clinicians, is key to a positive patient experience. That’s a big lesson from the Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP) survey of patient experiences in primary care practices across that state. The survey included almost 60,000 patients and asked about details of the care they received at their doctors’ offices. The independent healthcare measurement and reporting organization has been surveying patients about their experiences for 14 years, but this was the first year they did an extensive analysis of patient responses to open-ended questions. Positive comments that got physician practices high scores in MHQP’s ratings were most commonly focused on a doctor’s caring and compassionate attitude and the patient’s feeling they were respected and listened to, according to MHQP.