Patient satisfaction is at the core of patient centered medicine. Improved patient satisfaction not only leads to an enhanced patient experience—something every sick or injured patient deserves—it is also associated with improved treatment outcomes.
Measuring and reporting on patient satisfaction with health care has become a major industry.
Background Patient satisfaction is a widely used health care quality metric. However, the relationship between patient satisfaction and health care utilization, expenditures, and outcomes remains ill defined.
Hospitals need to show the community that they are interested in quality care, and they need to find ways to improve in order to remain competitive. Patients are our customers, and as customers, they have the right to choose where to go for their medical care. Patients are easier to serve if they feel their needs are being met. This results in happier staff and patients. Conversely, when patients' needs are not met, we often hear about it through angry letters, poor satisfaction scores or sometimes publicly in local papers. This is why patient satisfaction is extremely important to your emergency department and hospital. As young physicians, we need to continue striving for high RVUs while maintaining high patient satisfaction scores to help with our emergency department/hospital's reputation, not to mention our own job security. The ED is already at a disadvantage when it comes to patient satisfaction; we have long wait times, practice hallway medicine, and work in a loud and frequently chaotic atmosphere. Our patients entrust their lives to us. They come to us when they are vulnerable and in pain. They are scared and anxious and then have to deal with long wait times. Patients wait to come back to a room, wait to be seen by a physician, wait for labs to be drawn and imaging studies to be done, wait for results to come back, and wait to be admitted. This all leads to...
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