Patients' views on optimal visit length in primary care

Dan Avi Landau, Yaacov G. Bachner, Keren Elishkewitz, Liav Goldstein, Erez Barneboim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Visit length (VL) has been decreasing over the last decades. Patients and physicians alike hold that this may have adverse affects on quality of care and patient-doctor rapport. Our aim was to study the optimal VL as viewed by the patients as well as possible related factors such as demographic parameters and patient satisfaction. By using surveys, we determined that patient satisfaction was highly correlated with VL and satisfaction from VL. Optimal VL as viewed by the patients was 15.4 minutes on average with considerable variation. Longer expected VL was associated with longer visits. Patient satisfaction from the visit was significantly decreased when expressed optimal VL exceeded the estimated duration of the visit. The surveys demonstrated that in young adults, satisfaction is highly correlated with VL. When asked, patients expect attainable VLs, which are on average only somewhat longer then the scheduled duration. We believe that patients should take part in decisions regarding visit scheduling. We suggest that individualization may contribute to the cost-effectiveness of physicians' time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-15
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Medical Practice Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2007


  • Patient expectation
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Primary care
  • Visit length

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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