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Authoritative Report on Emergency Department Experiences Released Today

Americans Report Communication about Delays Biggest Priority for


SOUTH BEND, Ind., June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Press Ganey Associates, Inc., the health care industry's leading provider of quality improvement solutions, today released the 2008 Emergency Department Pulse Report: Patient Perspectives on American Health Care. Patients report longer emergency department (ED) visits and also indicate that communication about delays was the top priority for improvement when evaluating their entire experience in the ED.

The Emergency Department Pulse Report analyzes the experiences of more than 1.5 million patients treated at 1,656 emergency departments nationwide in 2007. Notable findings from the 2008 Report include:

-- Patients spend an average of 4 hours, 6 minutes in the emergency

department, up from 4 hours even just a year ago. This continues the

upward trend observed compared to the previous year.

-- There is wide variability from state to state in the amount of time

spent in the ED. Average times by state range from 2 3/4 hours to

nearly 6 1/2 hours.

-- There is also notable variation in overall satisfaction based on

geographic location. Emergency departments in Milwaukee, WI ranked

highest in levels of patient satisfaction nationwide. Rounding out the

top 10 in patient satisfaction were the metropolitan area emergency

departments of Columbus, OH; Miami, FL; Detroit, MI; Indianapolis, IN;

Pittsburgh, PA; Boston, MA; Kansas City, KS; Chicago, IL; and St.

Louis, MO.

-- Time spent in the emergency department is a critical factor in the

overall satisfaction of patients that causes dramatic shifts in

satisfaction. While patient satisfaction decreases with longer

visits, the good news is that EDs can mitigate this

dissatisfaction -- and actually improve satisfaction in spite of long

visit times-by regularly updating patients with information about


-- Patients report high satisfaction with issues related to personal and

insurance information, signifying progress in gathering patient

information in a respectful, private and efficient manner.

"Today's health care landscape, shaped by quality initiatives, transparency, and consumer choice, gives patients the ability decide for themselves where to receive care," says Dr. Melvin Hall, president and chief executive officer of Press Ganey. "Improving patient satisfaction in the emergency department is particularly critical for health care leaders because it is often the most visible public face of a hospital or health care system."

Many organizations have recognized the return on investment of improving patient satisfaction in the ED-including increases in patient volumes, improvements in clinical outcomes, and efficiencies gained-and are actively working to improve patient satisfaction. Successful programs range from implementing "fast tracks" in the ED to hiring dedicated staff charged with improving communication about delays.

The 2008 Emergency Department Pulse Report: Patient Perspectives on American Health Care is now available at Commentary from Dr. Hall is available upon request.

Press Ganey Associates, Inc.

For more than twenty years, Press Ganey has been committed to providing insight that allows health care organizations to improve the quality of care they provide while improving their bottom-line results. The company offers the largest comparative customer feedback databases, actionable data, solution resources, and unparalleled consulting and customer service. Press Ganey currently partners with more than 7,000 health care facilities -- including over 40% of U.S. hospitals-to measure and improve the quality of their care.

SOURCE Press Ganey Associates, Inc.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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