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Enhancing Patient Satisfaction After ED Visits

Enhancing Patient Satisfaction After ED Visits

Efforts to improve the care experience for ED patients have the potential for wide-ranging benefits, including more effective continuity of care, reduced need for follow-up visits, and higher staff morale. Recent studies suggest that several types of interventions can be effective tools to enhance ED patient satisfaction. “In some analyses, telephone and email follow-up by healthcare providers has been shown to improve patient satisfaction rates,” says Pankaj B. Patel, MD. “The benefits of higher patient satisfaction range from better patient compliance with discharge instructions to higher staff morale. Contacting patients after they leave the ED may also improve transitions of care and help reduce unnecessary return visits to the ED.” Given that emergency care is often rushed, it has been hypothesized that ED patients may have even more to gain from timely post-visit contact with healthcare providers, especially among the elderly. “The potential for improving follow-up communication with elderly ED patients is particularly important because of their rising population,” Dr. Patel says. “It behooves EDs to identify opportunities that can help improve continuity of care and opportunities to increase patient satisfaction. In turn, there is also an opportunity to enhance patient outcomes for the long term.” In-Depth Analysis of Patient Satisfaction The direct effect of post-visit patient contact by ED physicians has not been studied extensively. Dr. Patel and David R. Vinson, MD, published an article in Annals of Emergency Medicine detailing results of their study that examined the impact of post-visit email or phone contact on patient satisfaction. “Prior to our investigation, our study team was contacting patients by email or by telephone shortly after their ED visit,”...
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