December 8, 2023

Doctor-patient communications tend to be short but frequent


Mannheim The contact time at general practitioner clinics in Germany is very short compared to other European countries. For this reason, patients visit the clinic more often. This was stated by a working group at the Leibniz Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim.

In addition to the systematic analysis of existing literature, scientists compared data from different European countries and conducted qualitative interviews with doctors.

It showed that countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and the UK record average connection times of less than 15 minutes.

In contrast, countries such as France, Belgium and Switzerland generally conduct longer consultations. The Nordic countries, especially Sweden, have an average longer consultation of more than 25 minutes per patient.

According to the study, one factor that is clearly linked to average call time is the way medical services are paid: countries where each service is billed separately have the longest call times on average, while countries with separate fees Remote service has shorter connections.

Sabrina Schubert said that the way the reward system is designed can serve as a tool to achieve desired performance.

However, the task force reported that there is no agreement either in health policy or in the scientific discussion about the appropriate timing of contact. Therefore, studies are needed that can reveal a possible link between contact time and treatment quality. © hil/