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Patient Educ Couns. 2010 Mar;78(3):394-401. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2009.08.017. Epub 2009 Oct 2.

Patient surveys--a key to organizational change?

Author information

1
School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark. eriiskjaer@econ.au.dk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective was to investigate whether semi-customized patient satisfaction surveys are seen as useful by hospital management, and to explore their possible effects on quality improvement over time at a low organizational level.

METHODS:

Data were collected from three sources: (1) patient surveys administered in eight public hospitals with a total of 2200 beds in a Danish county; (2) questionnaires completed by the hospital and clinical department managers; and (3) data from the county's Management Information System.

RESULTS:

Patient satisfaction surveys were widely accepted as a tool for change. Bad results seemed to be an incentive for improvement unless hindered by fluctuation in patient turnover. Acceptance of the patient surveys as a way to generate change diminished over time.

CONCLUSION:

Patient surveys may be an incentive for change if: (1) they have sufficient validity; (2) feedback is detailed on an organizational level and the units have significantly lower scores than comparable units; and (3) there are obvious actions to address the problems.

PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS:

Both qualitative and quantitative results should be analyzed for small organizational units within hospitals. Perceived usefulness of the surveys may be increased by involving medical professionals in the design and evaluation of the survey system.

PMID:
19800757
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2009.08.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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