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Rasheedat T. Zakare-Fagbamila, Christine Park, Wes Dickson, Tracy Z. Cheng and Oren N. Gottfried

OBJECTIVE

Most clinics collect routine data on performance metrics on physicians for outpatient visits. However, the relationship of these metrics with patient experience is unclear. The goal of this study was to investigate the relationships between the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Clinician and Group Survey (CG-CAHPS), the standard patient experience survey, and clinic performance metrics to understand the determinants of patient satisfaction and identify targets for improving patient experience.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective single-institution cohort review of spine surgeon metrics over 15 months including demographics, waiting-room times, in-room times, lead times, timely note closure, timely MyChart responses, and monthly patient volume. Kruskal-Wallis tests and mixed-model regression were used to determine the predictors of 3 domains of patient satisfaction—Global, Access, and Communication.

RESULTS

Over 15 months, 22 surgeons conducted 27,090 visits. The average clinic visit total time was 85.17 ± 25.75 minutes. Increased wait times were associated with poor Global (p = 0.008), Access (p < 0.001), and Communication scores (p = 0.003) in univariate analysis. Every 10-minute increase in waiting time was associated with a 3%, 9.8%, and 2.4% decrease in Global, Access, and Communication scores, respectively. Increased in-room time was also an independent predictor of poor Access scores (p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, increased wait times were negative predictors of Global (p = 0.005), Access (p < 0.001), and Communication (p = 0.002) scores.

CONCLUSIONS

Excessive waiting-room time significantly impacts unexpected dimensions of the patient experience and impacts communication with patients. Understanding the complex relationship between the factors that inform the patient experience will help target effective interventions to improve clinic efficiency and patient satisfaction.

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Christine Park, Rasheedat T. Zakare-Fagbamila, Wes Dickson, Alessandra N. Garcia and Oren N. Gottfried

OBJECTIVE

The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a survey that assesses patient satisfaction, which is an important measure of the quality of hospital care and ultimately the overall hospital rating (OHR). However, the survey covers several elements of patient satisfaction beyond the patient-surgeon interaction. In this study, authors investigated which admission and experience factors had the highest impact on the OHR.

METHODS

This was a retrospective cohort analysis of HCAHPS surveys from patients who, in the period between August 1, 2016, and January 31, 2018, had been discharged from the neurosurgical or orthopedic service at three hospitals serving a single metropolitan area. The top-box score was defined as the highest rating obtainable for each survey question. Baseline admission attributes were obtained, and multivariate logistic regression was used to determine predictors of the top-box OHR.

RESULTS

After application of the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 1470 patients remained in the analysis. Categories on the HCAHPS included OHR, communication, education, environment, pain management, and responsiveness. After excluding identifying questions from the survey and adjusting for subspecialty and hospital, 7 of 17 HCAHPS survey items were significant predictors of OHR. Only 2 of these were related to the surgeon: 1) discharge, “Did you get information in writing about what symptoms or health problems to look out for after you left the hospital?” (OR 5.93, 95% CI 2.52–13.94); and 2) doctor, “Did doctors explain things in a way you could understand?” (OR 2.78, 95% CI 1.73–4.46). The top three strongest correlating items were 1) discharge; 2) nursing, “Did nurses treat you with courtesy and respect?” (OR 3.86, 95% CI 2.28–6.52); and 3) hospital environment, “Were your room and bathroom kept clean?” (OR 2.86, 95% CI 1.96–4.17).

CONCLUSIONS

The study findings demonstrated that there are several nonmodifiable factors (i.e., specialty, experience) and items that are not under the direct purview of the neurosurgeon (e.g., nursing communication, hospital environment) that are significant influences on overall inpatient satisfaction on the HCAHPS survey. Furthermore, components of the survey that ultimately influence the OHR vary across different hospitals. Hence, HCAHPS survey results should be broadly interpreted as a way to make health systems more aware of the overall hospital factors that can improve quality of care and patient experience.