Emergency Care in the North

Emergency department survey an important tool to help gauge and improve service delivery; 84.9 per cent of patients satisfied with overall quality of emergency care in the North

A province-wide survey on the patients’ perspective of care in emergency rooms will provide Northern Health with important information in understanding and measuring patient care satisfaction. The survey revealed

84.9 per cent of patients visiting emergency departments in hospitals across Northern Health say they are satisfied with the overall quality of the service they received.

“We are always interested in learning how to make our delivery of health care better,” said Malcolm Maxwell, Northern Health CEO. “Improving the quality of care starts with hearing from the patient. This emergency department survey creates a point from which we will be able to measure changes over time with respect to patient satisfaction and service.”

Northern Health participated in a provincial survey of 103 hospital emergency departments across British Columbia, conducted by an independent survey company, using a validated patient satisfaction questionnaire.

Northern Health’s overall rating compares favourably to the provincial average of 85.2%.

Questions asked of the respondents focused on different aspects of the patient’s experience in the emergency department in the following areas:

Access and Coordination; Information & Education; Respect for Patients/Patient’s Preferences; Continuity & Transition; and Physical Comfort. The highest ratings for Northern Health are in the categories of “Access and Coordination” and “Respect for Patients/Patient’s Preferences”.

“In addition to highlighting strengths in emergency care, our patients also indicated there is room for improvement in emergency service delivery at Northern Health, ” said Maxwell. “This type of survey enables us to assess how we can best make changes to benefit patients, and it provides opportunities for different facilities to learn from each other.”

For example, the survey indicated that only 63.9% of patients said they received enough emotional support from their emergency visit, and only 65.1% felt they had received enough education about their condition, their treatment and tests, and possible reactions once they return home.

“We are proud of the efforts of our Emergency departments,” said Maxwell, “and we look forward to working with staff across Northern Health to make the patient’s care experience even better.”

More information on the Emergency Department Patient Satisfaction Survey results will be made available at www.northernhealth.ca