Friday, August 14, 2015

How hospitals can get better patient ratings

Johns Hopkins investigators sent questionnaires to CEOs and medical personnel at 53 hospitals--and identified some best practices that give patients a sense of satisfaction. (Published in Medical Care)

Everyone wants to be patient-centered these days. There is more to it than saying that in a brochure.

Consistency, personal interactions, and involvement with caregivers at all levels. These came up again and again.

Not just doctors and nurses, but from the guy who wheels you around to the CEO.

Responsiveness is a key element. This means proactive nurses rounds--a check in every so often and not just in response to a beeping alarm or a call from the patient. The best hospitals have a list of questions they ask.

At the highly rated hospitals--even the CEOs ducked in and talked to patients sometimes.

Patients also responded positively when people sat down and made eye contact--and did not hover over them, one foot out of the door.

I have some experience as a hospital patient--I like to feel safe--like someone will help me if I need it.

I like to think they are looking at heart monitors that feed into the nurses' station. The hospitalist (doc who takes care of you in the hospital) needs to speak decent English and not avoid patient contact.  I like to see someone clean up the floor sometimes--maybe once a day--all those scraps of packaging and so on. Handwashing.

The fear, the pain, the yuckiness--almost worse than whatever you have.

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