Home > Quality Improvement > Measuring Patient Satisfaction, Part 2

Measuring Patient Satisfaction, Part 2

The first step is to review and revise your existing questionnaire.  Turn it into a tri-fold brochure and place a stack of them in your waiting room with a sign that says, “Please tell us how we are doing!”

The goal now becomes to transform the measurement of patient satisfaction/perception of care into focus questions.  These are questions that are identified by the QI Committee and the members of the Medical Advisory/Executive Committee and may be asked of the patient over a designated period of time by the staff during the postoperative phone calls.

Meet with the QIC members and the medical staff on the MAC/MEC.  Advise these persons of the intent to ask the patient questions the outcome of which will make a difference in how you practice.  A topic is selected with 2-4 questions regarding that topic.  These are put into a questionnaire or QI study format and are asked during the post-op phone call.  The callers gather the questionnaires and forward these to the QI Coordinator for analysis.  The QI Committee and/or the MAC/MEC determine if the identified topic will be queried for one, two or three months.  Results are submitted to the various committees when completed for further input.  Some of the questions asked include:

  • Did you observe the staff washing their hands during your stay at the center? How? When?
  • Was your recovery experience what you expected and how could we have improved upon that?
  • Was you pain management adequate?  Did the pain medication you were prescribed work, or did you have to contact your physician for another/different prescription?
  • Did your caretakers ask your name, the type and site of the procedure you were to undergo in pre-op, prior to starting a treatment such as an IV or prior to giving a medication, and in the OR?
  • Did you feel the staff provided you a safe environment?
  • Did you experience any infections postoperatively even if not related directly to the procedure you had done?  Were you on postoperative antibiotics?  How long did you take them?  Did you finish your course of medications?

Periodically, physicians may come forth with a comment like, “You know, I have always wondered if patients (fill in the blank) post-operatively.”  You can use these questions for your focus studies.

From questions like those identified above the committee members can identify two or three additional questions on each subject.

Results of these focus studies can be dramatic; e.g., the question about the recovery experience produced several major issues:

  • One patient had undergone a knee arthroscopy with a inguinal block. He was a professional football player whose caretaker was his 5’4”, 112 lb wife.  It seems he had to climb a series of steps from his driveway to get into his house.  The TV was in a basement media center and the bedroom was on the second floor.  He fell several times while trying to navigate to reach these various areas.
  • Patient # 2 underwent surgery for her bilateral carpal tunnels.   During the postoperative phone call she expressed her upset in that both hands were splinted.  Her husband was the helpless type who couldn’t even” fill the teakettle for a cup of tea”, but she couldn’t help…neither could she perform her own personal, intimate care.  She reported being extremely frustrated and embarrassed.
  • Patient #3 had experienced bilateral bunionectomies to include excision of her Taylor bunionettes with no understanding whatsoever of the amount of pain she would experience.  In this instance, she, too, had to climb stairs to her front door and to her second floor  media room  and bedroom.

In all of the above cases, which occurred at different surgery centers, there was inadequate teaching for the postoperative experience. Obviously the level of satisfaction regarding their experience was very low.

Part 3

Categories: Quality Improvement
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  1. October 3, 2011 at 10:00 am

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