As customer satisfaction becomes rapidly enshrined as our reimbursement overlord, we are all eager to improve our satisfaction scores. And, by scores, I mean: Press Ganey.
So, as with all studies attempting to describe patient satisfaction, we unfortunately depend on the validity of the proprietary Press Ganey measurement instrument. This limitation acknowledged, these authors at Oregon Health and Science University have conducted a single-center study, retrospectively linking survey results with patient characteristics, and statistically evaluating associations using a linear mixed-effects model. They report three survey elements: overall experience, wait time before provider, and likelihood to recommend.
Which patients were most pleased with their experience? Old, white people who didn’t have to wait very long. Every additional decade in age increased satisfaction, every hour wait decreased satisfaction, and there was a smattering of other mixed effects based on payor source, ethnicity, and perceived length of stay. What’s interesting about these results – despite the threats to validity and limitations inherent to a retrospective study – is how much the satisfaction outcomes depend upon non-modifiable factors. You can actually purchase patient experience consulting from Press Ganey, and they’ll come teach you and your nurses a handful of repackaged common-sense tricks – but I’m happy to save your department the money: door-to-room times.
Or change your client mix.
“Associations Between Patient and Emergency Department Operational Characteristics and Patient Satisfaction Scores in an Adult Population”