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J Emerg Med. 2013 Jan;44(1):236-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2012.07.074. Epub 2012 Oct 22.

The impact of post-discharge patient call back on patient satisfaction in two academic emergency departments.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California 92103-8676, USA.



Patients' satisfaction is a common parameter tracked by health care systems and Emergency Departments (EDs).


To determine whether telephone calls by health care providers to patients after discharge from the ED was associated with improved patient satisfaction.


Retrospective analysis of Press Ganey (PG; Press Ganey Associates, South Bend, IN) surveys from two EDs operated by the University of California San Diego Health System. Responses to the YES/NO question, "After discharge, did you receive a phone call from an ED staff member?" was compared to the responses to the question "likelihood of recommending this ED to others" (LR). This variable could be ranked with a score of 1 (very poor) to 5 (very good). Responses were dichotomized into two groups, 1-4 and 5. Chi-squared was performed to assess LR between those answering YES vs. NO to the call back question. Differences in proportion, 95% confidence interval (CI), and p-value are reported. Rankings for percentage of 5s across all EDs in the PG database were compared based upon YES/NO responses.


In the 12-month study period, about 30,000 surveys were mailed and 2250 (7.5%) were returned. Three hundred forty-seven (15.4%) checked off YES for the call back question. Percentage of 5s for LR for NO call back was 51.1% and for YES call back was 70.6% (difference = 19.5; 95% CI 14.0-24.6; p < 0.001).These values correlated with an ED ranking of 14(th) and 85(th) percentile, respectively.


This retrospective study demonstrated a strong association between post-visit patient call back and LR. Further prospective study with control for co-variables is warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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