1996 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
MONITORING PATIENT SATISFACTION WITH RESPIRATORY CARE SERVICES
Authors:Linda Zimcosky, RRT; Morris Brown, MD; Nadia Makled, RRT; Anthony Lawless, RRT; and Michael Charney, RRT Sinai Hospital, Detroit, Michigan
BACKGROUND: Today's healthcare environment is increasingly governed by customer satisfaction. Patients with a positive experience tend to return when future hospitalizations are required. In this competitive healthcare market, most hospitals monitor patient satisfaction. Our hospital-wide patient satisfaction survey asks patients only one question related to respiratory care services. We wanted more feedback on patient satisfaction with respiratory care services. We report our experience with a new respiratory care services patient satisfaction survey tool. Methods: A Respiratory Care Services-Patient Satisfaction Survey is mailed to all discharged patients along with the hospital survey. Previously, surveys were distributed by the RCP to all inpatients and collected prior to discharge. We felt patients were more likely to return candid surveys anonymously through the mail rather than in person. Patient responses were based on a 5 point scale ranging from 1 (very poor) to 5 (very good), in six areas: greeting/introduction, courtesy, professional appearance, technical skill, explanations about therapy and timeliness. Patients were also asked to rate the overall quality of respiratory care services. Comments and suggestions were also solicited. Results are compiled, presented to the department and integrated into the department QI plan. Results: RCPs distributed and collected surveys from January, 1993 through August, 1994. During this 20-month period, a total of 381 surveys were returned (19 surveys/month). Surveys were mailed beginning in September of 1994. For the 16-month period through December, 1995, a total of 852 surveys were returned (53 surveys/month). This represents a 124% increase in survey data returned. Conclusions: Survey results provide valuable feedback to the department as a monitor of customer satisfaction and QI/performance improvement activities. We conclude mailing of patient satisfaction surveys significantly increases survey return over RCP distribution. Benchmark goals for these patient satisfaction ratings can also be established and incorporated into a departmental performance appraisal program.