Report: Most patients satisfied with U.S. inpatient hospital care

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Patient ratings of overall inpatient care in U.S. hospitals increased by 1.5 percent last year, with an increase in patients who said they would recommend the care to others, based on the findings of a report published by healthcare consulting firm Press Ganey.

The survey which sampled almost three million patients treated at 2,000 hospitals across the U.S. found that patients rated treatments to be between “good” and “very good,” with 49.3 percent of patients conveying a positive take on their individual patient care.

The survey found that patients aged 65 to 70, and those aged 17 and under, reported being most satisfied (85 percent) with their inpatient care while those aged 80 and over reported being the least (83 percent).

While the majority of patients surveyed reported positive remarks regarding their physicians (60.5 percent) and nurses (56.8 percent), a majority also found unhappiness with patient hospital rooms (56.9 percent) and hospital discharge processes (41.6 percent).

In addition, the survey found that patient satisfaction was often correlated to hospital demographics including bed size and location. The survey showed that facilities with 50 hospital beds or less fared better with patients than larger facilities with 600 beds of more, with satisfaction rates of 87.8 percent compared to 83.7.

Also, for the third year in a row, the majority of patients said the likelihood of recommending the hospital to others was based on “response to concerns and complaints during hospital stays.”

Other priorities included how hospital staff addressed emotional needs, staff effort to include the patient in treatment decisions, how well patients were informed by nurses and the promptness in responding to the call button.

In the 2008 study, patients regarded Baton Rouge, La., as the top metropolitan area for treatment, while Maine ranked first in the state race with South Carolina and New Hampshire, second and third, respectively.