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As you all know, UHN has been working on improving our Patient Satisfaction results for more than 7 years. Every month we send out lengthy patient questionnaires asking recently discharged patients about their satisfaction with the care that they received at UHN. These questionnaires are a standard used across the North American hospital sector and we get a reasonably high return rate from our patients. The results are tabulated at a central office and sent to us every three months. We have carefully followed the scores for “Unit Based Care” measurement in the results since this score measures satisfaction with daily care received on the unit and is probably the best indicator of “Patient-Centred Care” for our in-patients.
As an organization, our Patient Satisfaction results have been inching up since 2003 when we started really working on Patient-Centred Care. At that time, our average “Unit Based Care” score was 75. In our most recent results the UHN score has passed 80 for the first time (the average score this round was 80.6 for 250 patient responses). The number does tend to vary a bit from measurement to measurement—but it has been steadily moving up for the past five years—and this is the first result to go past 80.
To me this is a great opportunity to celebrate and recognize the people who have worked hard to improve the quality of care.
Our Corporate Nursing team—previously led by Dr. Mary Ferguson-Paré and now by Dr. Joy Richards—has been instrumental in leading the educational elements of our Patient-Centred Care approach. Each one of our Clinical VPs has emphasized patient satisfaction in their programmatic goals and objectives and all of our Program Medical Directors, Clinical Directors and Clinical Managers are committed to improving patient satisfaction. Sharon Roger’s Patient Relations team has reminded us about the importance of the patient voice across the organization. Our physicians are more aware of the importance of communicating with our patients and this shows in the scores that physicians receive for communication. Most important, it is the people who work every day on each of our in-patient units—nurses, Allied Health professionals, clerks and facilities staff—who have focused on improving the way in which we treat patients.
I have no doubt that our results may “wobble” a bit below 80 in the future—but we are making real progress in becoming more patient-centred—and I want to send a big thanks and congratulations to the people responsible for getting us here.