When doctors disagree with patients’ requests, the study results suggest that it matters how doctors explain their decision, Ross says by email.
The reasons for patients’ requests matter, too. Sometimes patients have seen a treatment advertised on television, or heard about it from a friend or family member. Other times, patients aren’t happy with their care and think a specialist may be needed.
“I think physicians are often wary of denying care that has been requested by patients, both because it will impact satisfaction and because it takes longer to explain to a patient why a service is not needed than to simply agree and process the order,” Ross adds. “To me, the key is that physicians and patients communicate clearly so that the care decisions are being shared and are in the best interest of patients.”
- Jerant A, Fenton JJ, Kravitz RL, et al. Association of clinician denial of patient requests with patient satisfaction. JAMA Intern Med. 2017 Nov 27. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.6611. [Epub ahead of print]
- Ross JS. Physician denial of inappropriate patient requests—what if I say no?? JAMA Intern Med. 2017 Nov 27. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.7367. [Epub ahead of print]