Customer Service Surveys

Instead of the dreaded Press-Ganey, we use HCAHPS to track our patient satisfaction scores.  This then dumps to the Hospital Compare website that showcases how poorly we do.  Or at least how we are percieved by our patients.

In a staff meeting  they went over some of our latest scores and this time provided comments along with the scores.  My floor, well, according to the surveys, is pretty much the worst in the hospital and our sister floor is a little better, but not much.  The best scores came from the folks who do mostly stuff that people want to be in the hospital for.  Things like childbirth and total joint replacements.  The floors that do a roaring trade in people who do not want to be in house had the worst scores across the board.  This tells me several things.  First, the whole idea of rating is bunk.  Second, basing a rating on a subjective survey is bunk.  Third, unadjusted scores for patient population (taking into account when tallying pain control with the number of drug addicts and chronic paineurs we have) is bunk.  And finally, no cross-referencing the mortality rates with satisfaction is bunk.

Granted, I’m biased.  I think that the care we provide is the best possible for the situation.  But, we’re not perfect and that’s what it seems the mob wants us to be.  They want to be pain-free.  It’s nice, but after giving you the amount of narcotics to kill an elephant and your pain is still a 10/10, nothing, I repeat, nothing is going to make you pain-free.  They want it to be quiet at night.  Sorry we have some double rooms, but the alternative is less rooms so that you stay in the ED will be even longer (another complaint).  And unfortunately, people get sick and admitted in the middle of the night and as quiet as we may try to be, attempting to get a history out of an 80 year old dude who’s deaf as a doorknob is not going to be conducive to your sleep (another complaint).

Now having had crappy hospital experiences with my family, I am sympathetic to the need to control pain, keep things quiet, let you sleep and all the other things that we do wrong.  Believe me, I understand, I do.  I try to make the stay as pleasant as I can, but sometimes, I just can’t.  I need to check you vital signs every 4 hours to ensure that you’re not dying quietly on me.  We have to draw blood to ensure that everything is progressing the way we hope it should.  Sometimes you have to have a roommate, but it is better than spending the night in the ED because there are no beds upstairs.  So many of the things we do “wrong” is things taht need to be done in order to heal.  Guess many people just don’t get that part of the equation.

This though sums the entire thing up for me, it should “be free of charge.”


One Comment

  1. Amen. The whole customer service model needs to go away. It doesn’t work well in the hospital setting, but they keep throwing it at us anyway. My personal favorite is when we raise a concerned about the safety of a new policy and were told, “but the patients really love it. It rated very high on the surveys.” Uh, ok…


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