Study: Bond between patients and doctors can lead to better patient care

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

March 4, 2009

Those patients who have a stronger relationship with their doctors were more likely to receive preventive screenings, according to a new study, reports The Boston Globe.

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School examined 155,000 medical records of patients from nine physician practices and four community health centers. Those patients who could name their doctor—and those doctors who could identify that patient as his or her own—were more likely to be screened for diabetes, coronary artery disease, and cancer. This bond (or lack thereof) was a stronger indication of whether patients received preventive screenings than whether the patient had healthcare insurance.

The study, published in the most recent Annals of Internal Medicine points out that level of connection experienced by those patients who belonged to one practice, but not one doctor, varied between 45% and 71%.

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