Background: Little is known about the extent to which primary care physicians (PCPs) practice patient-centered care, 1 of the Institute of Medicine's 6 dimensions of quality. This article describes the adoption of patient-centered practice attributes by PCPs.
Methods: Mail survey; nationally representative physician sample of 1837 physicians in practice at least 3 years postresidency.
Results: Eighty-three percent of PCPs surveyed are in favor of sharing of medical records with patients. Most physicians (87%) support team-based care. But, only 16% of PCPs communicate with their patients via e-mail; only 36% get feedback from their patients. Seventy-four percent of PCPs still experience problems with availability of patients' medical records or test results; less than 50% have adopted patient reminder systems. Thirty-three percent of physicians practicing in groups of 50 or more have adopted 6 to 11 of the 11 patient-centered care practices targeted in the survey compared with 14% of solo physicians.
Conclusion: Although some patient-centered care practices have been adopted by most PCPs, other practices have not yet been adopted as broadly, especially those targeting coordination, team-based care, and support from appropriate information systems.