Survey: Minnesotans pleased with their doctors, but want better access

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Most Minnesotans are pleased with their doctors, but many wish they had more access to them.

That's according to the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Community Measurement's 2015 Patient Experience of Care Survey.

It evaluates patient experience based on a few things: Whether they were getting the care they needed; how well providers communicated; if they experienced courteous and helpful staff; and whether they were satisfied with their provider.

Seventy-nine percent of patients surveyed rated their health care providers at a nine or 10 on a 10-point scale – but only 60 percent of patients said they were getting care when they needed, the survey found, a news release notes.

“The survey indicates that patients are generally pleased with the care they receive but would like more convenience and timely access,” Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger said in the release.

“Positive patient experience is a key element of high-quality medical care, and these survey findings will help inform continued efforts to ensure that patients have the access to care and the communication with providers they need to be healthy," Ehlinger added.

These patient opinions haven't changed much since the first survey in 2013, but some clinics have improved their survey results.

MDH highlighted the Scenic Rivers Health Services – Cook Medical Clinic in northern Minnesota as one of the providers that boosted its results by adding more clinicians and an online patient portal.

Other findings from the survey

  • 79 percent of those surveyed rated their provider a nine or 10, which is a "statistically significant one point increase" over the 2013 results. The provider that came in at the top with the most positive ratings was the Hennepin County Medical Center Clinics – Positive Care Clinic.
  • 83 percent of respondents described communication with their providers as top-level, with the most positive ratings going to the Hennepin County Medical Center Clinics.
  • 81 percent thought the office staff was respectful and helpful, with the most positive ratings going to Associates In Women's Health – Minneapolis.
  • 60 percent said they were getting timely care, with the most positive ratings going to Minnesota Oncology – Waconia.

This was the second year of the survey. Results are based on 200,500 patient-completed surveys on patient experience of care – the largest statewide patient experience survey in the nation. Read more about how the survey is conducted here.

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