HealthTap released a report today that revealed that compassion is more important than cost to patients (and doctors) when ranking doctors. In a climate where cost and access are often cited as key priorities among healthcare consumers and providers, this report indicates that despite rising healthcare costs and long wait times, both patients and doctors rank compassion as the most important element in healthcare today.
In this survey on the role of compassion in medicine, 85% of patients reported that compassion was very important to them, whereas only 31% of respondents cited cost as being very important to them when making a healthcare decision. In comparison, wait time, which is often referenced as a key pain point for patients, only ranked at 48% in terms of being a very important factor in healthcare satisfaction.
Most intriguing of all were the answers from the doctor respondents. 89% of doctors reported that compassion was a very important part of delivering the best care. This trumps even the importance doctors place on education and scholarly up-to-date command of medical knowledge (86%). In fact, 94% of the doctor respondents stated that being compassionate makes their patients more likely to follow their advice, thus demonstrably improving health outcomes.
“‘Compassion’ isn’t a word that you hear very often in Silicon Valley, but this survey proves that it’s the most important principle in healthcare,” said HealthTap Founder and CEO Ron Gutman. “The greater the role that technology and artificial intelligence play in healthcare, the greater the responsibility that we and other leading technologists have to build machines that value compassion just as much as doctors and patients do. We take that responsibility very seriously, and we have since the day I founded HealthTap in 2010. By teaching our technology how to practice and learn empathy, and by educating our employees and other stakeholders about the pivotal role compassion has in delivering the best health and care, we’re building a sustainable foundation to enable humans and machines to work in tandem to efficiently help billions everywhere live healthier, happier, and longer lives. That’s why compassion is the heart of our technology.”
FULL SURVEY RESULTS:
- From doctors:
- 89% of doctors say compassion is very important.
- 86% of doctors say being knowledgeable (scholarly, up-to-date command of medical knowledge) is very important.
- 28% say short wait times are very important.
- 16% say low cost is very important.
- From patients:
- 85% of patients say compassion and listening carefully are very important.
- 85% of patients say being knowledgeable is very important.
- 48% of patients say short wait time is very important.
- 31% of patients say low cost is very important.