Consumer Healthcare: Women identify flaws and fixes

July 4, 2008

For women who call the shots on matters of health for themselves or their families, the healthcare system can be tough to navigate.

For women who call the shots on matters of health for themselves or their families, the healthcare system can be tough to navigate. In a new Harris Interactive survey, six in 10 women found it "challenging," as did three out of four women in the 18 to 34 age group. The most frequent problem, cited by 47 percent of respondents, is financial, typically because of no insurance or high copays. Time constraints followed: More than a third said they can't take time off from work or school to see a doctor, who may only have hours during the day. Another key challenge is the amount of time it takes to get an appointment. More than a third of those surveyed said they wait three days or more for an acute care visit.

What do women want? Same-day appointments with their PCP when they're sick is "very" or "extremely" important to more than two-thirds. A relationship with a doctor who knows the medical history of everyone in the family and can coordinate care-providing what the American Academy of Family Physicians, sponsor of the study, calls the "patient-centered medical home"-is a close second.