AUGUST 01, 2006

Of all US health professionals, the nation's pharmacists were singled out as providing the best customer service, according to the results of a new public opinion poll of 7479 consumers conducted by BIGresearch.

According to the survey, 2 of every 3 Americans (66.4%) now rate the services provided by their neighborhood pharmacist as "good" or "excellent." Women tended to rate the service of pharmacists a notch higher than did men, and consumers with annual family incomes over $50,000 also were more likely to express positive feelings about pharmacists.

Additionally, the researchers found that age plays a role in how highly Americans regard the services of pharmacists. Nearly 7 of 10 consumers who are 35 or older rated pharmacist customer service as "good" or "excellent." Only 60% of those in the 18-to-34 age group gave pharmacists the thumbs up.

Dentists placed second to pharmacists,with 62% of consumers rating their services highly, while medical doctors scored 53%, according to the researchers. On the bottom end of the survey, only 41% of the Americans surveyed said that hospitals offer good or excellent service, and less than 31% gave a positive response to the services provided by health insurers.

In commenting on the findings, BIGresearch spokesman Gary Drenik said that "consumers are frustrated by the state of service in the health care industry, and many seem to be most displeased with the cost of health care, the paperwork dealing with insurance companies, and overworked caregivers."