Overall Emergency Department Rating: Identifying the Factors That Matter Most to Patient Experience

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Abstract

Background:

Patient experience is becoming an area of interest in Emergency Medicine as more is understood about its impact on outcomes and the expectation that it will soon be tied to reimbursement. No study has investigated the predictors of emergency department (ED) patient satisfaction in over a decade. As the care environment, access to information, and consumer interests change, determinants of satisfaction have likely evolved. Our objective was to examine the factors that were most predictive of ED satisfaction.

Methods:

A retrospective cohort study at an urban, university-affiliated ED. The relationship between overall satisfaction and patients' responses to individual questions was assessed using a chi-square test and a multivariable logistic regression model.

Results:

During the study period, 7,872 patients participated in a telephone interview. Logistic regression found 13 questions predictive of high overall ED rating and 9 questions predictive of low overall ED rating. Six questions appeared in both analyses, related to timeliness, cleanliness, the physician's ability to listen carefully, teamwork, and the perception of being helped by the care.

Conclusions:

There are strong predictors of overall ED satisfaction related to communication, wait time, environment, and perception that care was helpful. Further efforts should focus on identifying interventions in each of these domains.

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