Optimizing patient/caregiver satisfaction through quality of communication in the pediatric emergency department.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND:Optimizing patient/family caregiver satisfaction with emergency department (ED) encounters has advantages for improving patient health outcomes, adherence with medical plans, patient rights, and shared participation in care, provider satisfaction, improved health economics, institutional market share, and liability reduction. The variables that contribute to an optimal outcome in the pediatric ED setting have been less well investigated. The specific hypothesis tested was that patient/family caregiver-provider communication and 24-hour postdischarge phone contact would be associated with an increased frequency of highest possible satisfaction scores. METHODS:A consecutive set of Press Ganey satisfaction survey responses between June and December 2009 in a large tertiary referral pediatric ED was evaluated. Press Ganey responses were subsequently linked to defined components of the electronic medical record associated with each survey respondent's ED visit to ascertain specific objective ED data. Multivariate modeling utilizing generalized linear equations was achieved to obtain a composite model of drivers of patient/caregiver satisfaction. RESULTS:Primary drivers of satisfaction and willingness to return or refer others to the ED were as follows: being informed about delays, ease of the insurance process, overall physician rating, registered nurse attention to needs, control of pain, and successful completion of postdischarge phone call to a family caregiver. Multiple wait time variables that were statistically significant in univariate modeling, including total length of time in the ED, time in waiting room, comfort of waiting room, time in treatment room, and play items, were not statistically significant once controlling for the other variables in the model. Type of insurance, race, patient age, or time of year did not influence the models. CONCLUSIONS:Achieving optimal patient/caregiver satisfaction scores in the pediatric ED is highly dependent on the quality of the interpersonal interaction and communication of ED activities. Wait time and other throughput variables are less important than perceived quality of the health interaction and interpersonal communication. Patient satisfaction has advantages greater than market share and should be considered a component of the care-delivery paradigm.

journal_name

Pediatr Emerg Care

journal_title

Pediatric emergency care

authors

Locke R,Stefano M,Koster A,Taylor B,Greenspan J

doi

10.1097/PEC.0b013e318235be06

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2011-11-01 00:00:00

pages

1016-21

issue

11

eissn

0749-5161

issn

1535-1815

pii

00006565-201111000-00003

journal_volume

27

pub_type

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