Study: ED patients more satisfied if they know wait times

Making sure patients know as much as they can about their wait times is the best thing emergency departments can do to increase patient satisfaction--not managing their pain, or even answering other questions. That's the conclusion drawn by a recent Press Ganey survey of more than 1.5 million patients in more than 1,600 EDs. Press Ganey found that while satisfaction went down the longer patients waited, helpful, consistent communication with ED staff still made patients happier. Patients ranked "how well they were informed about delays" as their top factor in satisfaction, followed by control of pain, how much nurses cared about them and how well they were informed of treatment. Interestingly, total wait time ranked last. Patients who waited more than four hours to see a doctor, but felt well-informed about the delay, scored more than twice as high on overall satisfaction as those who waited just an hour but considered communication to be "very poor."

To learn more about the study:
- read this Washington Post article

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