Adolescent Satisfaction in an Urban Pediatric Emergency Department

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Abstract

Objectives:

We studied the satisfaction reported by adolescents when visiting a pediatric emergency department (ED) and elicited suggestions for improving the ED for teenage patients.

Methods:

A 33-question survey was developed for this study assessing adolescents’ overall satisfaction with their ED care as well as their views on the waiting time and setting, medical staff, treatment and discharge plans, and comparisons to general hospital EDs. The survey was administered at discharge home or admission to the hospital.

Results:

Two hundred eighty-two patients completed the survey. Two hundred fifty-nine respondents (92%) rated their experience as good or better. A decreased level of satisfaction was reported among adolescents waiting to see a physician in excess of 2 hours. Satisfaction was not affected by age, diagnosis, procedure, or disposition. Respondents felt safe in our department and were satisfied with the physicians and nurses treating them and their treatment and discharge plans. One hundred seventy respondents offered suggestions for an improved ED setting. Of the 161 patients who had previously attended a general hospital ED, only 11 patients (7%) preferred the general hospital setting. It was concerning that 184 respondents (65% of total) reported not having an opportunity to meet with their physician alone.

Conclusions:

Adolescents were satisfied with care in our pediatric ED. Long wait times are associated with decreased level of satisfaction among adolescents. The waiting room setting and meeting a physician alone were important to adolescents visiting our ED.

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