A recent patient satisfaction survey that ranked nursing care as the most important factor within inpatient pediatric care settings comes as no surprise to the chair of SHM’s Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant Committee.
Published online last month in the American Journal of Medical Quality, the retrospective study found that patient satisfaction for pediatric care varies widely depending on “which departmental setting patients receive treatment within a healthcare system,” study authors noted.
“Communication is one of the most important things,” says committee chair Tracy Cardin, ACNP-BC, FHM. “And nursing is sort of our designee sometimes in the communication of the plan of care. You can go over something with a patient and the family for a minute or so, or five, or even 10. But, really, it’s the nurses who reinforce the message.”
For the study, researchers at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware reviewed more than 27,000 patient satisfaction survey results over a three-year period at facilities of the Nemours Children’s Health System in the Delaware Valley and Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia. Families rated their satisfaction on a five-point scale for various factors including physician care, nurse care, and personal concern.
The researchers say knowing what kinds of care expectations patients have in different settings, be it the emergency department or an inpatient ward, could help tailor interventions.
Cardin is hopeful that’s true, but she notes that patient satisfaction is a complex issue. A hospitalist could deliver perfect care, but if the patient had a bad experience at the hospital’s front door, the actual care delivery scores may be affected.
“It would be nice if there were just one variable to manipulate,” she says. “There are so many different impacts on [satisfaction]. What do we really have the ability to control?”