You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

ER patient satisfaction scores improve


Satisfaction scores for the Springfield Regional Medical Center’s emergency department have improved and patient visits have significantly climbed in the past year.

Wait times to see a doctor also have been dramatically cut, according to survey data released by the medical center, and the hospital is looking to add services such as some trauma treatment and a chest pain center.

“Are we where we want to be? No, but it’s getting better,” said Conrad Brown, director of the emergency department at Springfield Regional.

Raising the scores has been a priority at Springfield Regional, Brown said, because low results indicated the community wasn’t satisfied with the care provided. It also affected employee morale and led to three physician groups running the emergency department in three years.

But extensive changes since last June have led to the higher scores, Brown said.

Patient satisfaction scores in the ER improved from 56.1 percent of patients saying their needs were always met last June to 63.4 percent by the end of December, a sign hospital officials said is important as patients have more access to information to determine where to seek care.

Overall, the satisfaction score was 52.2 percent at the end of 2013, up from 2012 when the score was 43.4 percent.

Many residents believe Springfield Regional is the only available option locally, Brown said. But the scores are important because patients can also visit hospitals in Dayton, Columbus or London, urgent care facilities, or even avoid treatment entirely, he said, meaning patients are increasingly able to shop around for their health care.

“Patients have a choice,” Brown said. “They’ve gone elsewhere.”

The scores show the percentage of patients who said they were completely satisfied with every aspect of their service in several categories, including communication with nurses, communication with doctors, pain management and communication about medicines. Despite the improvements, Brown said higher standards have already been set for next year.

“It’s not OK just to settle on that,” he said. “You have to expand on what you’re doing.”

The number of patients who visited the ER increased about 9 percent, jumping from about 75,000 patients in 2012 to about 81,700 patients in 2013.

The time it takes patients to see a physician has been slashed from as much as 61 minutes in April last year to 11 minutes by December, according to the survey data released by Springfield Regional.

Several changes have been made in the past year, including contracting with a new physician’s group, Canton-based Emergency Medical Physicians. The emergency room was also redesigned, allowing patients to see nurses first instead of security personnel.

During peak hours, the ER also uses a physician in triage. Under that procedure, a physician is stationed in the waiting room. Depending on the complaint, the physician can quickly evaluate a patient and determine what tests are necessary, slashing the time waiting to see a doctor.

He pointed out additional signs of improvement at a Springfield Rotary Club meeting Monday. More than 2,300 people left the emergency room for various reasons without being treated in 2012, but that figure was cut to about 1,400 last year.

The average length of stay for a patient visiting the emergency department was 203 minutes in 2012. By the end of last year, the average was cut to 189 minutes.

The success of the emergency department is important both for the community’s morale and its health, Clark County Commissioner John Detrick said.

“It’s an important tool for the citizens of Clark County to have available,” Detrick said.

The emergency department has 45 beds and sees an average of 220 patients daily.

The Springfield hospital was also recently recognized by Catholic Health Partners for earning the greatest increase in overall patient satisfaction in 2013 in the 23-hospital network.

CHP has set a higher goal of 63.5 percent for the hospital for this year, and Brown said further changes are planned to continue to improve patient satisfaction.

“We’re raising the bar,” Brown said. “We’re continuing what we’re doing and we’re adding on to that.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Delta passenger uses restroom before takeoff, gets bumped from flight
Delta passenger uses restroom before takeoff, gets bumped from flight

A Delta Air Lines passenger was asked to exit the plane after he urgently had to use the lavatory when the plane was getting ready for takeoff, and a fellow passenger recorded the incident on video, according to an account in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. According to an article by columnist Jim Stingl, the flight was getting ready to depart...
Change likely to continue at Urbana University amid new leadership
Change likely to continue at Urbana University amid new leadership

Some students at Urbana University have questions about the changes at the campus but said they also hope it will bring more funding to the school. Urbana’s president resigned Tuesday after two years with the school as the university potentially shifts to a branch campus of Franklin University in Columbus. Franklin acquired the smaller campus...
Creepy or useful? Amazon’s new Echo Look selfie camera wants to help you get dressed
Creepy or useful? Amazon’s new Echo Look selfie camera wants to help you get dressed

When the Amazon Echo had its first big debut in 2015, it was introduced as a speaker with a voice assistant inside. Now, the newest device in the Echo family is focused on making sure you leave the house looking your absolute best. On Wednesday, Amazon revealed the Echo Look — priced at $200 — as a “hands-free camera and style...
Check your change jar for rare penny worth up to $85,000 
Check your change jar for rare penny worth up to $85,000 

A rare coin, the 1943 copper wheat penny, also known as the Wheat Cent, is worth a pretty penny these days, selling for up to $85,000 at auction. That’s according to the online coin value service CoinTrackers, which said the pennies are so valuable because so few were made and they were released by mistake. The Wheat Cent is made mostly from...
Jeff Goldblum reprising original role as brash mathematician in ‘Jurassic World 2’
Jeff Goldblum reprising original role as brash mathematician in ‘Jurassic World 2’

  A familiar face is returning for the latest installment in the “Jurassic Park” franchise. Actor Jeff Goldblum, played the brash mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm in 1993’s “Jurassic Park” and its sequel in 1997 “The Lost World,” and has now has signed on for “Jurassic World 2,” according to the ...
More Stories