Monday, December 31, 2012

Patient Satisfaction Survey

When PediNP wrote about "Customer Service" in relationship to her clinic, it was something that most practitioners, from the techs to doctors, understand. We are the ones who actually touch the patients and talk to the patients and families on a daily basis.  
Most health care facilities around the country now provide some sort of “Patient Satisfaction Survey” after the patient has had their care. Hospitals, clinics and other healthcare services rely heavily on these surveys. Some information can be beneficial, but most of it is for the administrative bean counters and managers who never touch a patient.   

Facilities tailor these questions to their specific needs, but here is a generic form from the Department of Health and Human Services. See the flaws, sometimes these surveys look like something you would fill out after staying at the Embassy Suites or Days Inn.  When was the last time someone had a hip replaced, heart valve surgery or got a cast at a hotel or restaurant. We who touch the patients provide a different service. OK, sometimes we provide you a blanket and some mediocre food. (That is another post topic).

These hospital scores are posted online through a National database (No not Yelp). How does a survey compare a hospital or clinic that treats the under served and homeless versus one in the gated upscale suburbs? New hospital additions have private rooms and flat screen TVs, while the community hospital still has two and three beds to a room. Do you think the satisfaction score might be lower, if the patient on the other side of the curtain is on the commode all night doing his GoLytely bowel prep. Patients will provide positive or negative feedback depending on the amount narcotics given out or refused at a clinic or ER.   


PediNP said...

I've been thinking about this a lot since I wrote that post. I'm struggling with this whole customer service thing. It hurts to think that quality matters less to patients than the kind of service they get. Believe me, I've worked with docs who are jerks. But if it is my brain that needs operating on, I'd suck it up and let the Dr Jerk operate on me rather than Dr Nice who has terrible skills. I think there has to be a middle ground here. I don't think that the consumer should dictate how medical care is delivered.

NP Odyssey said...

Consumers should has some say when it come to the axillary services that are so common in health care. But, since health care is big business that is the model they will follow. Sadly to get their money administration will always say a customer is right. Even over a well trained doc or other practitioner.