Background Patient satisfaction is an important constituent of health care and this is widely acknowledged by health care managers and providers. In the current politico-economic environment with greater devolution of powers from the centre to clinical commissioning groups (CCG’s) and availability of a choice of providers rheumatology departments across the country have to demonstrate that the services provided by them are deemed suitable and satisfactory by the consumers (patients).
Objectives The objective was to investigate the level of satisfaction with care amongst patients attending rheumatology outpatient clinics in Medway Maritime Hospital, Darent Valley Hospital and Sittingbourne Memorial hospital.
Methods A survey questionnaire with 31 questions was designed after consultation within the department. The anonymous survey was handed out randomly to 110 patients attending follow up appointments across three sites (Medway Maritime Hospital, Darent Valley hospital, Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital) over a 4 week period(November- December 2012). The survey forms were handed out to patients attending 27 rheumatology clinics. The responses were collated and data entered into an excel spread sheet and assessed. For ease of analysis results from Medway Maritime Hospital and Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital (part of the same trust)were analysed together(as MMH) while Darent Valley Hospital was analysed separately(as DVH).
Results Of the 110 patients surveyed – 86 patients responded (78%); 9 incomplete forms were excluded and 77 forms were analysed.
40 females and 37 males across 3 sites.
Patients surveyed had a wide range of rheumatological disorders.
Patient ease of getting an appointment- 87% (MMH) very easily ; while 13 % had some difficulty
81% (DVH) very easily ; while 19 % had some difficulty
Follow up appointments never changed or changed once by the hospital- 89% (MMH) 85% (DVH)
Follow up appointments changed more than once by the hospital- 11% (MMH) 15% (DVH)
Adequate notice given to patient while changing appointments: 100% (MMH), 87% (DVH)
Patients seen within 15 minutes of appointment- 73%(MMH) 67%(DVH)
Patients fully understanding their diagnosis- 97.4%(MMH) 77%(DVH)
Patients given enough information on drug treatment- 95.4%(MMH) 79%(DVH)
Patients given enough time to ask questions- 100%(MMH) 84.6%(DVH)
While 100% patients in MMH felt that their clinician listened to them the numbers for DVH were 92%.
While 100% of the patients in MMH could understand what the clinician was trying to communicate to them the corresponding figure in DVH was 92%.
While in MMH 89.6% patients rated their overall experience in the clinic as good or excellent the corresponding figure at DVH was 70.6%.
Conclusions Majority of the patients surveyed had no difficulty in getting clinic appointments and were seen within 15 minutes of their scheduled appointment. Vast majority of the patients surveyed understood their diagnosis and drug treatment and felt that they were listened to by the clinician who could communicate well with them. Majority of the patients surveyed described their overall clinic experience to be good or excellent. There are some differences between the sites where patient education and communication in the clinic needs to be improved.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared