According to a study published online in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, clinician denial of certain patient requests may negatively impact patient satisfaction. 

The researchers conducted a cross-sectional, observational study of 1,319 outpatient visits (1,141 adult patients) to family physicians at a single center. They found that 897 (68 percent) of visits included at least one request. Requests by category included the following:

  • referral, 294 (21.1 percent)
  • pain medication, 271 (20.5 percent)
  • antibiotic, 107 (8.1 percent)
  • other new medication, 271 (20.5 percent)
  • laboratory test, 448 (34 percent)
  • radiology test, 153 (11.6 percent)
  • other tests, 147 (11.1 percent)

The researchers found that clinician denials of requests for referral, pain medication, other new medication, and laboratory test were associated with worse satisfaction scores. "In an era of patient satisfaction-driven compensation," the researchers write, "the findings suggest the need to train clinicians to deal effectively with requests, potentially enhancing patient and clinician experiences." Learn more...

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