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Hospital survey results inch upward

Springfield Regional still lags state, national results.

Patient satisfaction scores at Springfield Regional Medical Center improved in eight of the 10 categories measured by Medicare and held steady in the other two, according to the latest update to the government agency’s Hospital Compare Website.

The hospital, though, still lagged behind state and national averages on all of the measures.

Paul Hiltz, market leader and president of Springfield Regional, has made it his goal to improve the patient satisfaction scores.

“We’re just encouraged to see incremental progress on our journey to be a top 100 hospital,” he said.

The figures posted last week reflect patient surveys collected from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012. Hospital Compare collects data from 4,000 Medicare certified hospitals nationwide and is posted for consumers as an aid to comparing the quality of care. The website says the statistics help consumers make decisions and encourage hospitals to improve the quality of care they provide.

On the bottom-line measure of whether patients would give the hospital a rating of 9 or 10 on a scale of 10, 56 percent responded yes, a three-point climb. Springfield Regional had predicted last month that the score would increase, but the gain was even larger than it had anticipated.

A 4 percent gain in the number of patients who definitely would recommend the hospital pushed that total to 54 percent.

Those scores compare with state and national averages of 70 to 71 percent. The hospital was within 5 percent of those averages on three questions; remained more than 10 percent behind on three; and was 6 to 9 percent behind on the four others.

Springfield Regional Medical Center also posted a 4 percent gain among patients who reported the area around their room was always quiet, increasing the total to 52 percent. The surveys showed 2 percent improvements on questions about whether the hospital provided patients with information on what to do while recovering at home; and on responses to questions of whether they always received help as soon as they wanted and whether their pain was always controlled.

The survey showed 1 percent gains on measures of whether the nurses always communicated well and whether patient bathrooms were always clean.

The percentages on two categories — people who said their doctors always communicated with them well and the staff always explained about medicines before giving them stayed — remained unchanged at 78 percent and 56 percent respectively.

“I’m really impressed by what I see,” Hiltz said, “especially with the nursing staff at the hospital,” which he praised for “really working hard and really taking a lot of pride in the progress.”

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