Call me, maybe?
That could be the new refrain from recently discharged ED patients to their emergency physicians, says a new survey published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
According to the results of patient satisfaction surveys completed by more than 1,000 patients, those emergency patients who received follow-up phone calls or e-mails from their emergency physicians were more satisfied with their ED experience than those who were not contacted.
For one month, 42 emergency physicians either e-mailed or telephoned their patients within 72 hours of being discharged from the ER. The subsequent month, physicians provided no follow-up contact. The average satisfaction score given by the 348 patients who received follow-up contact was 87.7 percent. The average satisfaction score for the 1,002 patients who received no follow-up contact was 79.4 percent.
Higher patient satisfaction was observed equally among all patients contacted by e-mail and those contacted by telephone. Physicians preferred using post-ED visit e-mail contact over telephone contact because e-mail contact took less time — 2.2 minutes for e-mail vs. 3.6 minutes for telephone.
Higher patient satisfaction has many benefits, the study notes, including better patient compliance with discharge instructions, improved care transitions, and higher staff morale.
Source: ACEP, February 26, 2013
2012 Healthcare Benchmarks: Reducing Avoidable ER Visits analyzes the responses of 134 healthcare organizations to HIN’s October 2011 Industry Survey on Reducing Avoidable ER Visits, presenting the data in more than 40 easy-to-follow graphs and tables. Besides an analysis of overall responses, this report drills down to health plan and physician perspectives from survey respondents.