About 25% of Hospitals Rank Above Average in Patient Satisfaction Survey
About one-fourth of California hospitals received an above-average ranking in overall patient satisfaction; 57% received an average ranking; and 18% received a below-average ranking, according to a survey released yesterday by the California HealthCare Foundation, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The report, also sponsored by the California Institute for Health Systems Performance, surveyed approximately 35,000 individuals who spent at least one night in one of the 181 hospitals participating in the survey between July 1, 2002, and Oct. 31, 2002 (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/25). The survey evaluated patient satisfaction in seven categories: respect for patient preferences, coordination of care, information and education, physical comfort, emotional support, involvement of family and friends and transition to home (Parikh, Orange County Register, 6/25). The survey, which is considered the "largest publicly reported and most comprehensive" survey of its kind nationwide, represented 54% of the state's licensed hospital beds; hospital participation in the survey has increased 61% since the first survey was conducted in 2001. Other findings from the survey include the following:
- Rural hospitals received higher patient satisfaction rankings than urban hospitals, in part because of greater community support, personalized care and a more stable staff, according to the Chronicle.
- Larger chain hospitals and teaching hospitals in urban areas received lower patient satisfaction rankings than smaller community hospitals but still were recognized for their quality of care.
- Hospitals in Northern California received higher patient satisfaction rankings than hospitals in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
- Twenty percent of participating Bay Area hospitals received a below-average ranking (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/25).
- Half of hospitals in the East Bay received below-average patient satisfaction ranking (Whelan, Contra Costa Times, 6/25).