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Primary Care Practices: Patient Experience of Care



Patients ratings and reports on their experience of care with their doctors - more than 700 adult primary care doctors in the Greater Kansas City Area.

What is the patient experience?

The patient experience refers to all that happens to a patient from the moment he or she walks into a doctor's office until the end of the appointment. It also includes all phone calls or other contact a patient has with the doctor' s office before or after appointments.

The surveys gauged opinions about primary-care doctors who care for adults family practitioners, internists, geriatricians and general practitioners. Surveys focused on:

  • How well doctors communicate with patients. This includes whether doctors listen to patients and give clear directions or explanations.
  • How well doctors know their patients. This includes knowing about a patient's medical history as well as beliefs or values about health and illness.
  • If patients get timely appointments, care, and information. An example is giving patients test results very soon after the doctor learns this information.
  • If the doctor's office staff is polite and helpful.

The results will help local consumers make informed choices about their physicians, and will help doctors learn how well they are interacting with their patients and how they can improve.


Between November 2008 and January 2009, over 40,000 adult patients responded to a survey about their experiences with primary care during the preceding year. The survey asked patients about aspects of their health care experience that are closely linked to quality, the strength of the doctor-patient relationship and access to care.

Consumers CHECKBOOK/Center for the Study of Services conducted the survey with the assistance of KCQIC, the Metropolitan Medical Society of Greater Kansas City, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and other organizations seeking to improve health care quality in greater Kansas City. The questions were developed by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and endorsed by the National Quality Forum.

Kansas City is one of three metropolitan areas participating in the Consumers  CHECKBOOK pilot survey project; the other two are Memphis and Denver. (Kansas City and Memphis are Aligning Forces for Quality Alliances). CHECKBOOK plans to move to other cities shortly.

Physicians interested in increasing patient experience scores contact KCQIC at 816-453-4424