Report: Inpatient satisfaction continues to rise

Despite a tough economy that forced many hospitals to cut staff and reduce services, hospital patient satisfaction levels jumped substantially last year, according to a new report from research firm Press Ganey Associates.

Press Ganey, which surveyed almost 3 million patients seen at more than 2,000 hospitals, noted that patient satisfaction with U.S. hospitals has grown steadily since 2003. Last year, hospitals saw a previously unheard-of 1.5 percent jump in overall inpatient satisfaction, and a 2 percent increase in the willingness to recommend their hospital to family and friends. Overall, these patients rated their overall care between "good" and "very good," the research firm said.

Still, patients feel that communication within hospitals could be improved. In particular, patients who rated "response to concerns and complaints made during your stay" as inadequate didn't tend to recommend their hospitals to others.

Patients also were sensitive about the extent to which hospital staffers addressed their emotional needs, the effort staff made in including patients in decisions about treatment, how well nurses kept them informed and how promptly they responded to the call button.

Other findings included OB/GYN services receiving the highest satisfaction ratings, and the state of Maine earning the highest-ratings for satisfaction.

To get more data from Press Ganey:
- read this report (.pdf)

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