The effect of racial and gender concordance between physicians and patients on the assessment of hospitalist performance: a pilot study.
BMC Health Serv Res. 2019 Apr 24;19(1):247
Authors: Crawford D, Paranji S, Chandra S, Wright S, Kisuule F
BACKGROUND: Lack of racial concordance between physicians and patients has been linked to health disparities and inequities. Studies show that patients prefer physicians who look like them; however, there are too few underrepresented minority physicians in the workforce. Hospitalists are Internal Medicine physicians who specialize in inpatient medicine. At our hospital, hospitalists care for 60% of hospitalized medical patients. We utilized the validated Tool to Assess Inpatient Satisfaction with Care from Hospitalists (TAISCH) to assess the effect of patient-provider race and gender concordance on patients' assessment of their physician's performance.
METHODS: Four hundred thirty-seven inpatients admitted to the non-teaching hospitalist service, cared for by a unique hospitalist physician for two or more consecutive days, were surveyed using the validated TAISCH instrument. The influence of gender and racial concordance on TAISCH scores for patient - hospitalist pairs were assessed by comparing the specific dyads with the overall mean scores. T-tests were used to compare the means. Generalized estimating equations were used to account for clustering.
RESULTS: Of the 34 hospitalist physicians in the analysis, 20% were African American (AA-non-Hispanic), 15% were Caucasians (non-Hispanic) and 65% were in the "other" category. The "other" category consisted of predominantly physicians of South East Asian decent (i.e. Indian subcontinent) and Hispanic. Of the 437 patients, 66% were Caucasians, and 32% were AA. The overall mean TAISCH score, as these 437 patients assessed their hospitalist provider was 3.8 (se = 0.60). The highest mean TAISCH score was for the Caucasian provider-AA patient dyads at 4.2 (se = 0.21, p = 0.05 compared to overall mean). The lowest mean TAISCH score was 3.5 (se = 0.14) seen in the AA provider/AA patient dyads, significantly lower than the overall mean (p = 0.013). There were no statistically significant differences noted between mean TAISCH scores of gender and racially concordant versus discordant doctor-patient dyads (all p's > 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: In the inpatient setting, it appears as if neither race nor gender concordance with the provider affects a patient's assessment of a hospitalist's performance.
PMID: 31018841 [PubMed - in process]