Trust and Communication are Crucial to Better Care and Better Health
“We have found that certain things dramatically improve when we show physicians data.” Dr. Barbara Spivak, President of Mount Auburn Cambridge Independent Practice Association (MACIPA), explained why her organization uses patient experience data. For example, physicians with poor access or long wait times can change their office systems to improve both, thereby lessening the necessity for patients to go to the walk-in or ER.
MACIPA, a physician membership organization, is a long-time supporter of MHQP’s Statewide Patient Experience Survey (PES). Over the years, MACIPA's use of patient experience data has evolved. We have found that much of how patients experience their care hinges on trust and communication. “What you discover is that sometimes patients and doctors think they are communicating well when that may not always be the case,” said Dr. Spivak.
MACIPA’s approach to supporting patients and doctors is to feed the PES data back to its members and partner with them on projects that focus on tangible steps to improve.
For example, MACIPA uses provider level data to help new doctors. Dr. Spivak elaborated, “Patient experience data is particularly useful for the newer doctor who has come out of residency, and is now out practicing for the first time. Giving them that kind of [patient experience] feedback can help shape what kind of doctor they’re going to be long-term.”
MACIPA knows that the research and literature backs up its continued investments in patient experience. According to Dr. Spivak, “patients who trust their physicians take care of themselves better and have better health care, and that trust comes from better communication. If we want patients to be engaged in their health, which is critical to getting quality up and keeping costs down, that trust factor has to be enhanced – the patient has to feel comfortable and heard.”