PHYSICIAN IDENTIFICATION AND PATIENT SATISFACTION IN THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT: ARE THEY RELATED? JOURNAL OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE Mercer, M. P., Hernandez-Boussard, T., Mahadevan, S. V., Strehlow, M. C. 2014; 46 (5): 711-718

Abstract

Patient satisfaction has become a quality indicator tracked closely by hospitals and emergency departments (EDs). Unfortunately, the primary factors driving patient satisfaction remain poorly studied. It has been suggested that correct physician identification impacts patient satisfaction in hospitalized patients, however, the limited studies that exist have demonstrated mixed results.In this study, we sought to identify factors associated with improved satisfaction among ED patients, and specifically, to test whether improving physician identification by patients would lead to increased satisfaction.We performed a pre- and postintervention, survey-based study of patients at the end of their ED visits. We compared patient satisfaction scores as well as patients' abilities to correctly identify their physicians over two separate 1-week periods: prior to and after introducing a multimedia presentation of the attending physicians into the waiting room.A total of 486 patients (25% of all ED visits) were enrolled in the study. In the combined study population, overall patient satisfaction was higher among patients who correctly identified their physicians than among those who could not identify their physicians (combined mean satisfaction score of 8.1 vs. 7.2; odds ratio [OR] 1.07). Overall satisfaction was also higher among parents or guardians of pediatric patients than among adult patients (satisfaction score of 8.4 vs. 7.4; OR 1.07), and among patients who experienced a shorter door-to-doctor time (satisfaction score of 8.2 for shorter waiting time vs. 5.6 for longer waiting time; OR 1.15). Ambulance patients showed decreased satisfaction over some satisfaction parameters, including physician courtesy and knowledge. No direct relationship was demonstrated between the study intervention (multimedia presentation) and improved patient satisfaction or physician identification.Improved patient satisfaction was found to be positively correlated with correct physician identification, shorter waiting times, and among the pediatric patient population. Further studies are needed to determine interventions that improve patients' abilities to identify their physicians and lower waiting times.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jemermed.2013.08.036

View details for Web of Science ID 000334791000028