Long waits, unclear tests top patients' gripe list

Long waits, unclear tests top patient gripe list
Long waits, unclear tests top patient gripe list

HealthDay News -- Long waiting times and unclear test results are the top patient grievances when it comes to primary care office visits, according to a report published in the June issue of Consumer Reports.

In a survey of 1,000 Americans, participants were asked to rate their grievances when visiting their healthcare provider on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing "not bothered at all" and 10 meaning "bothered tremendously."

The top grievances were as follows:

  • Unclear explanation of a problem (8.1 out of 10)
  • Test results not communicated fast (7.9)
  • Billing disputes hard to resolve (7.8)
  • Hard to get quick appointment when sick (7.8)
  • Rushed during office visit (7.8)
  • Long wait for doctors in the exam or waiting room (7.6)

Complaints also differed between men and women, with women being more bothered by doctors using electronic devices to make notes rather than interacting face-to-face and by doctors holding discussions within earshot of other patients.

Patients were less annoyed by having to fill out multiple forms in the waiting room (6.1) or by doctors discouraging alternative treatments (5.7).

Americans aged 65 and older were more peeved by having to fill out long forms than were those under 65. Those younger than 35 said they'd be less bothered than did older folks by doctors "who are too quick to order tests and procedures."

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