Trust. A Critical Part of The Patient-Practitioner Relationship

Home > Articles > Trust. A Critical Part of The Patient-Practitioner Relationship

The New England Journal of Medicine has been tracking public trust in physicians and the healthcare system for years. Recent results show a decline in public trust of healthcare institutions and professionals.1

"Today, public confidence in the U.S. healthcare system is low, with only 23 percent expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the system (Gallup 2014). We believe that the medical profession and its leaders are seen as a contributing factor."

This same study indicates that two-thirds (69 percent) of the public trusts doctors' honesty and integrity. Trust is critical to patient care. According to David A. Shore, PhD, founding director of the Trust Initiative of Harvard University's School of Public Health, "trust improves medical outcomes and is the number one predictor of loyalty to a physician's practice. Patients who trust their doctors are more likely to follow treatment protocols and are more likely to succeed in their efforts to change behavior."2

PEL recognizes this critical dynamic between the O&P practitioner and patient. It is for this reason that personal service and attention to every call, order, and request is important. Independent practitioners consider a "distributor that takes responsibility for my needs" and is "trustworthy" to be both important and influential to their selection of a supplier. Research results from 2015 rate PEL highest in these characteristics by practitioners.3

"For O&P practitioners to deliver the greatest patient value and quality of life, it is critical they have a dependable, dedicated staff and a trusted distributor resource to serve patient needs," said Mike Sotak, president and CEO of PEL. "We work hard to earn practitioner trust every day." For more information about PEL, visit or call 800.321.1264.

1 The New England Journal of Medicine, October 23, 2014
2 Heartland Health Research Institute blog post by David Lind, June 13, 2012
3 Independent O&P Practitioner Study, September 2015