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Ann Emerg Med. 1991 Sep;20(9):1014-6.

Pediatric emergency department complaints: a three-year analysis of sources and trends.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

To identify the incidence and major causes of patient and parental complaints in a pediatric emergency department.

DESIGN:

Retrospective analysis of complaints received regarding patients seen between January 1987 and December 1989.

SETTING:

ED of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

PARTICIPANTS:

All complaints received during the three-year period.

INTERVENTIONS:

Complaints were reviewed for reason, validity, and location at which patient was seen.

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS:

One hundred seventy-six complaints from a total of 154,648 ED visits yielded a frequency of 1.1 complaints per 1,000 patient visits. Main reasons for dissatisfaction were misdiagnosis, billing, and inadequate treatment; 49% of complaints were judged valid. There were 0.69 complaints per 1,000 patient visits in the nonurgent medical portion of the ED. Patients seen emergently (critical care and trauma) had a significantly lower complaint frequency of 0.08 per 1,000 patient visits (P less than .001 by chi 2 analysis).

CONCLUSION:

Assessment of ED complaints is useful to highlight areas of patient dissatisfaction and develop plans for improving patient care.

PMID:
1877766
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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