People Who See the Same Doctor Regularly Have Lower Mortality Rates
CALIFORNIA — July 3, 2018
A joint study between the US and UK has shown that patients have significantly fewer unnecessary diseases and hospital admissions if they retain the services of one doctor, follow their medical advice, and take up preventative care.
"This study investigated the effects of physician continuity, measured as the Continuity of Care Index (COCI) score, on the survival of patients with diabetes, including both pay-for-performance (P4P) participants and nonparticipants." reports a statement by the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health the publication of the study was made possible by a voluntary contribution of Californian scientists.
The study analyzed the results of twenty two cases from nine countries, each with different health systems. Eighteen of them showed that people who saw the same doctor over time had significantly reduced mortality rates.
“When a patient sees a doctor they know and get on with, they talk more freely and give that doctor much more relevant information, sometimes quite personal information or anxieties they have, and the doctor can then tailor the advice and management plans much more subtly,” said Pereira Gray, one of the authors of the study.
The research findings relate to specialist physicians, psychiatrists and surgeons, and were not limited to family doctors or GPs.
However, there is a severe shortage of GPs. According to a recent new study, the chance of seeing the same GP fell by 27 per cent between 2012 and 2017.
The issue should be considered in a comprehensive manner, taking into account the characteristics of various health systems. “It’s seen in hospitals and general practices as a kind of convenience to give the patient they want to see,” Gray said. “It’s becoming clearer that this is about the quality of medical practice.”