Many of you were asked to complete a survey about your attitudes and satisfaction level after visiting our clinic. I wanted to thank all who did participate, some did so despite having a headache. This was very important work and because it is so important we have been invited to present our findings at the International Headache Congress (a once every four year event) on June 25th in Boston.
The reason this research was so valuable is the fact that our clinic offers a novel solution for a serious problem, bringing world-class headache care to a rural area. A survey in 2008 found that the care for headache patients in American (like all other countries) was extremely inadequate but worse than that, in rural areas it is non-existent. The greatest reason for inadequacy is financial restraints. Good headache work is time consuming and reimbursement by insurance companies for that work is pitiful. Headache disorders, while one of the most disabling disease states, has always been the subject of discrimination because you can’t see them on a test.
The Pacific Rim Headache Center is the first headache specialty clinic in the world founded by a PA. This is important to the feasibility of our existence because no neurologists or other physician headache specialists could be financially supported outside a major metropolitan area while a PA with years of training could offer the same quality of care at an affordable price.
Some physician headache specialists were dubious about patients’ satisfaction at being seen in a PA-founded and directed headache clinic. Having worked at the highest quality headache center in the world, Mayo Clinic- Rochester, MN, I knew that the care we gave here was no different from the level of care I and my colleagues gave there. Also, I know what motivates all of us here at PRHC, a deep commitment of helping headache sufferers get well . . . and nothing else.
In this study, one hundred consecutive patients were given an 18 point questionnaire. They were allowed to complete it anonymously. When the data was collected and analyzed, we found a high to very high satisfaction rate of 96%. This greatly surpasses similar surveys at other headache clinics, with satisfaction rates as low as 42% and the highest, after ours, was 72%.