Studies have shown that there has been significant increases in Emergency Department visits throughout the United States over the past decade. Increased healthcare demands have precipitated increased ..
Studies have shown that there has been significant increases in Emergency Department visits throughout the United States over the past decade. Increased healthcare demands have precipitated increased wait times in the ED and increased turnaround time for physicians to provide care. We sought to determine the effects of actual versus perceived delays in discharge and pain medication administration on patient satisfaction after their visits to the ED. In regards to patient perception of a delay in discharge and the effect on their satisfaction scores, it was determined that the perception of a delay in discharge by the patient does indeed affect their satisfaction score on a post-discharge survey. The subjective data for this study were obtained during the 8-month period from April through November 2017, as part of an ongoing quality improvement project. There was roughly a 400-500 population size that met the inclusion criteria for each month. Research assistants were asked to contact patients by telephone and elicit answers to specific questions. Two measurements of actual time delay were used in the study: delay in pain medication administration, defined as time greater than 30 minutes, and delay in discharge, defined as the difference between length of stay (LOS) and ‘arrival to disposition’ time. In other words, the difference between the time that the patient was ordered to be discharged and the time that they left the ED. The patients who perceived a delay had a mean satisfaction score of 2.89 when the delay time was in excess of 30 minutes and it was concluded that the satisfaction score drops by 1.8 points on a scale of 1 to 5 when patients simply perceive a delay in discharge. It was also concluded that the perceived delay of pain medication administration negatively impacted patient satisfaction in this study with the average score dropping by 1.92 points.