The Importance of the Doctor-Patient Relationship

We believe the doctor-patient relationship is a key element in nurturing health. When people feel they are truly heard and listened to, they are more likely to visit their primary care physician and follow their guidance, which can lead to improved health.

A recent report on physician/patient interactions from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf found that positive doctor-patient communication increases patient satisfaction, adherence to treatment, health outcomes and well-being. It is also linked to reduced patient anxiety during clinical visits, increased patient recall and improved understanding of clinical matters discussed.

However, per the National Institute of Health (NIH), 45 percent of patients feel there is room for improvement in health care in six key areas, one being communication. Due to the traditional fee-for-service model of health care that incentivizes doctors to see as many patients as possible in a day, the amount of time a physician takes with a patient during his or her visit is often compromised.

Care models that remove these incentives, allow for unhurried visits and interactions, which are key to understanding the patient’s needs, developing trust and establishing long-term health goals. This is a primary driver behind our model. At Harken Health Centers, care providers are allotted the time to spend with every member, with average appointment times lasting 1 hour, compared to the industry average of less than 15 minutes.

In addition to a primary care provider, our members have access to a health coach, behavioral health specialist and a Membership Assistant. This team approach is designed to optimize the care experience, and empower Care Teams with the time to listen to and focus on members, rather than paperwork.

Understanding that health concerns and questions aren’t limited to business hours, it’s important to open the line of communication beyond scheduled appointments. At Harken Health Centers, the Care Teams communicate with members via phone, text, video conference and email. This allows their questions to be answered and prescriptions to be filled, without having to schedule a face-to-face appointment, when it’s not necessary.

A core component of a positive care provider-member relationship is understanding the patient’s unique needs, which can only be gained through trust and effective communication.

To learn more about Harken Health Center Care Teams, click here. To get a quote for your family or business, click here.


Content is for general informational purposes only and not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. See your Harken Health Care Team or physician for medical advice personalized to your situation.

Harken Health Insurance Company does not determine what care is provided to patients at the Harken Health Centers.

©2017 by Harken Health. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Insurance coverage provided by Harken Health Insurance Company.