Patients Favor Doctors with Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills and bedside manner frequently mentioned in patient reviews.
Interpersonal skills and bedside manner frequently mentioned in patient reviews.

Patient reviews indicate that the attributes most valued in physicians include interpersonal skills and bedside manner, according to a report published online by Vitals.

The Vitals Index analyzed 1,000 recent reviews of doctors by their patients to examine which attributes they most valued.

According to the report, patients are increasingly relying on online ratings and reviews when choosing a doctor. Most reviews were found to be positive, with positive words outnumbering negative ones three to one. Patient complaints included rudeness and feeling rushed. More patients reported that physicians were compassionate, friendly, and knowledgeable. There were more than 100 appearances of the words "called," "explained," and "listened," while "diagnosed" appeared only 40 times.

"These softer metrics reinforce the importance of a patient feeling heard and valued," Mitch Rothschild, the chief executive officer of Vitals, said in a statement. "They're more than just a feel-good measure, too. Studies show that the better the patient experience, the better the clinical outcome."

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