Accreditation

Hospitals get satisfaction through patient surveys

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, August 1, 2005

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Meet JCAHO requirements, obtain picture of quality via questionnaires

Learning objectives: After reading this article, you will be able to

1. identify ways to use results from patient satisfaction surveys

2. explain the importance of patient satisfaction surveys

3. recognize JCAHO standards related to patient satisfaction

Keep your hospital's patient satisfaction survey concise and to the point. This strategy will help keep the patient's attention when taking the survey and help the organization obtain more meaningful responses.

Ideally, the entire questionnaire should be 15 questions, says John Rosing, MHA, FAHCE, practice director of accreditation and regulatory compliance services for The Greeley Company, the Marblehead, MA-based division of HCPro, Inc., which publishes this newsletter.

If the hospital conducts a phone interview, it should last no longer than four minutes, Rosing says. If the interview is longer than that, the organization risks losing the patient's attention when taking the survey, Rosing says.

"The shorter the better," Rosing says. "It's up to the organization to determine what its needs and expectations are [when creating survey questions]."

Go above JCAHO requirements

Standard PI.1.10, element of performance (EP) 3, requires hospitals to collect data on patients' perception of care, treatment, and services provided, including specific needs and expectations, how well the hospital met those needs, how the hospital can improve safety, and the effectiveness of pain management.

The JCAHO is moving from using the word "satisfaction" to "perception of care, treatment, and services," which allows the organization to assess patients' satisfaction with care but also whether the organization met their needs and expectations, according to the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals .

Although the JCAHO only outlines four areas for hospitals to collect satisfaction data, organizations should add more, Rosing says, including the following:

  • Wait times

  • Communication

  • Comfort, including room temperature, noise, and distractions

  • Staff attention to a patient's needs

    Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital in Worcester, MA, asks questions about admissions and registration procedures, nursing care, pain management, physicians, food and facilities, discharge, and overall satisfaction, says Patricia Garvey, MSN, RN, director of quality management and education.

  • This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Briefings on Accreditation and Quality.

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