TAFP VP participates in national press conference

Tags: gerdes, aafp, survey, women's health

TAFP VP participates in national press conference

Women reveal health care wishes through survey

Women want convenience and continuity in health care, AAFP leaders reported as they unveiled the results of a Harris Interactive poll at a May 29 online press conference. Topping the list of desired attributes: improved access to services and an ongoing relationship with a personal physician for their entire family. TAFP Vice President Melissa Gerdes, M.D., of Whitehouse, and AAFP President Jim King, M.D., of Selmer, Tenn., led the conference.

Gerdes and King explained the findings of the survey, titled “Fixing Health Care: What Women Want,” which polled women on their role in coordinating health care for themselves and their families. Ninety percent of U.S. adult women identified as the primary health care decision-makers for themselves and members of their family. Of these women, six in 10 indicated that the health care system is at least somewhat difficult to navigate, according to the survey’s executive summary.

Some of the results—such as the fact that 43 percent reported having to fill out complete patient histories at each medical provider’s office and 26 percent have had to inform one medical provider what the other had diagnosed—indicate shortcomings in communications between physicians that places a burden on health care decision makers.

“I think the study does demonstrate that access, continuity and communication are very important aspects of our health care system from the patients’ perspective,” Gerdes said. “Furthermore, the delivery of these aspects by the health care system is not consistent, and sometimes not existent.”