The Problem Statement
Patient satisfaction has become an issue of great concern and many hospitals have devised strategies that aim at enhancing patients’ satisfaction. Hospitals with unfavorable patient satisfaction are faced with three main challenges. First, the affected hospitals are likely to realize low revenue returns owing to low patient turnout (Bernard, 2007). Second, the hospitals’ rating is likely to drop (Bernard, 2007). Third, the hospital in question is likely to make high cost decisions especially those aimed at improving hospital facilities in order to match their competitors’ standards (Bernard, 2007). In addition, a number of studies have noted that emergency departments of most hospitals around the world have poor patient satisfaction scores. A pediatric facility requires close monitoring owing to its delicate patients. This paper endeavors to elucidate the effects of emergency department staff hourly rounding on clients’ satisfaction in a pediatric facility.
A number of studies have been conducted on patients’ satisfaction. In one such study, Magaret et al. aimed at “evaluating the satisfaction in pediatric emergency department patients and their accompanying parents” (Magaret et al., 2002, p. 1379). On top of that, the researchers also endeavored to elucidate the “aspects of healthcare delivery that influence satisfaction in these groups” (Magaret et al., 2002, p. 1379). The researchers recruited pediatrics aged 5- 17 years who visited the university hospital. The researchers managed to recruit 101 participants. The participants were given questionnaires immediately after the end of their visit in the emergency department. The researchers evaluated a number of factors. The researchers did not only measure the participants’ perceptions of pain and fear, but they also studied the patients’ overall satisfaction.
Parents’ satisfaction scores were based on three factors. The researchers investigated the quality of interaction between the healthcare provider and the patient, the comprehensiveness of the information provided to the patients and the time taken in the waiting room. On the other hand, the patient satisfaction levels were also based on the comprehensiveness of the information provided and the quality of interaction they had with the healthcare provider. In addition, child satisfaction levels were also based on pain management strategies employed by the healthcare provider.
The study conducted by Magaret et al. concurred with the findings of previous studies which had indicated that parents’ satisfaction levels are influenced by the quality of information provided to them, the interaction between them and the healthcare provider and the time spent in the waiting room. On top of that, the study found out that child satisfaction levels are also determined by pain management strategies which healthcare providers use to employ. This study is essential in highlighting key factors influencing the satisfaction of patients with regard to the level of attention they receive from healthcare providers. However, the study concentrated on four factors only. Future studies should examine a wide array of factors in order to give a comprehensive conclusion.
On the other hand, Seiler et al. sought to evaluate patients’ satisfaction with regard to hospital care provided by primary care physicians. The authors based their study on the hospitalist model which stresses on superior and efficient outcomes (Seiler, 2012, p. 131). Unfortunately, data explaining how this model affects patients’ satisfaction is limited. In an attempt to highlight how the model affects patients’ satisfaction, Seiler et al. (2012) conducted a study on a number of patients who had just been discharged from the hospital. The researchers used telephone calls to collect data from the participants. The participants were required to rate their level of satisfaction with regard to the quality of care they received from the physicians and the physician’s behavior. On top of that, the participants rated the pain management strategies that the physicians used and the quality of communication between them and the physician.
The findings of the study conducted by Seiler et al. 2012) indicated that the participants were satisfied with inpatient care provided by several hospitalist models and by primary care physicians (Seiler, 2002, p. 131). This study recruited participants from the inpatient department. The study necessitates the comparison of patient satisfaction scores derived from two different departments; the inpatient and emergency departments. The approach used to collect data was somewhat unreliable.
Soremekun, Takayesu and Bohan (2011) endeavored to elucidate how waiting time and patient satisfaction influence the provision of medical care in emergency departments. The authors based their study on previous findings which indicate that little attention has been conducted to evaluate the effect of waiting time and patient satisfaction. According to these authors, satisfaction can be viewed as the difference between patients’ perceptions and their expectations” (Soremekun, Takayesu & Bohan, 2011). The researchers note that improved staffs’ personal and communication skills significantly improve patient satisfaction. The study conducted by these researchers provides significant findings which indicate the importance of reducing waiting time. Patients who spend less time in the waiting area often appreciate the service they received. Thus, the researchers indicated that patient satisfaction can be improved by ensuring efficient communication between hospital staff and the patient.
In addition, Ghazwan, Wayne and Louise-Ann (2009) conducted a study to evaluate patient satisfaction with regard to diagnostic and therapeutic interventions employed in the emergency department. The researchers surveyed a group of 821 patients who had visited an emergency department for various reasons. On arrival at the emergency department, the participants were requested to indicate the type of test they had come to conduct. The researchers examined a number of factors. They include waiting time, providers’ interpersonal skills and their overall assessment. The researchers found out that those patients who expressed satisfaction with the services they got were influenced by their interpersonal relationship between them and the healthcare provider. Thus, healthcare providers with good interpersonal skills enhance patient satisfaction. In addition, patients who experienced longer waiting time prior to meeting the healthcare provider but received an explanation from the hospital staff reported high satisfactory levels. On top of that, patients reported high satisfactory levels with healthcare providers who had an excellent understanding of the services sought.
This paper has found out that patient satisfaction has become an issue of great concern and many hospitals have devised strategies that enhance patients’ satisfaction. On the other hand, a number of studies have noted that emergency departments of most hospitals around the world have poor patient satisfaction scores. For that matter, pediatric facility requires close monitoring owing to its delicate patients. Previous studies have reported a number of factors which are believed to influence patient satisfaction. These factors include the interpersonal relationship between the healthcare provider and the patient, pain management strategies, waiting time, quality of communication and the healthcare provider’s level of understanding. Patient satisfaction in a pediatric emergency department can be significantly enhanced if the facility’s staff conducts hourly rounding. This level of dedication will go along way in enhancing patient satisfaction.
Bernard, A. (2007). Postal survey methodology to assess patient satisfaction in a suburban emergency medical services system: an observational study. Biomedical central,7(5), 1-8.
Ghazwan,T., Wayne,T., and Louise-Ann, M. (2009). The practice of emergency medicine/original research: Patient Satisfaction as a Function of Emergency Department Previsit Expectations. Annals of Emergency Medicine,54(3),360- 367.
Magaret, N., et al. (2002). Patient Satisfaction in the Emergency Department—A Survey of Pediatric Patients and Their Parents. Academic Emergency Medicine, 9(12), 1-10
Seiler, A, etal. (2012). Patient satisfaction with hospital care provided by hospitalists and primary care physicians. Journal of Hospital Medicine,7(2), 131-136.
Soremekun, O., Takayesu, J., and Bohan, S. (2011). Framework for Analyzing Wait Times and Other Factors that Impact Patient Satisfaction in the Emergency Department. Journal of Emergency Medicine,41(6), 668-692.