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Outpatient Service Facilities Face Increasing Competition - Patient Perceptions More Important Than Ever

SOUTH BEND, Ind., Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Patient satisfaction scores at outpatient health care facilities are on the rise according to a new report from Press Ganey Associates, Inc. The 2008 Outpatient Pulse Report: Patient Perspectives on American Health Care cites increased competition among facilities as a driver for improvement in patient services. The report includes responses from more than 2 million patients treated at more than 1,200 outpatient care facilities nationwide last year.

"These findings show that more competition really does spur improvements in health care, which is great for patients," said Dr. Deirdre Mylod, vice president of acute services at Press Ganey. "This annual report identifies the factors that affect a patient's level of satisfaction, and it also identifies some top-level improvement solutions that are essential in an increasingly competitive environment."

    There are a number of notable findings in this year's report:

    -- Patients between the ages of 65 and 79 report the highest levels of
       satisfaction, while patients between the ages of 18 and 34 are the
       least satisfied.
    -- Patients who receive radiation treatments report the highest overall
       satisfaction, closely followed by patients who receive cardiac
    -- Outpatient rehab patients report the lowest overall satisfaction

Unlike hospitals, outpatient service providers have a short time to create a positive experience for patients. The report found that several factors can directly influence a patient's level of satisfaction, including:

    -- Wait time-Satisfaction scores drop significantly when patients wait for
       more than sixty minutes
    -- Treatment time -- Patients who receive care later in the day are less
       satisfied than those who receive care early in the morning (6:00 a.m.
       to 8:00 a.m.)
SOURCE Press Ganey Associates, Inc.
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