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Patient satisfaction scores in ER not affected by receipt of painkillers

Date:
March 27, 2014
Source:
American College of Emergency Physicians
Summary:
Factors other than receipt of painkillers -- including opiates -- in the emergency department appear to be more important to patient satisfaction, as reflected in a new analysis. In some emergency departments, physician compensation is linked to patient satisfaction scores, which can exert pressure on physicians to comply with patient requests, even if those requests are medically unreasonable.

Factors other than receipt of painkillers -- including opiates -- in the emergency department appear to be more important to patient satisfaction, as reflected in an analysis of Press Ganey® patient surveys to be published online today in Annals of Emergency Medicine ("Lack of Association between Press Ganey® Emergency Department Patient Satisfaction Scores and Emergency Department Administration of Analgesic Medications").

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"The lack of connection between painkillers and patient satisfaction is frankly the opposite of what we expected to find," said lead study author Tayler Schwartz of Alpert Medical School at Brown University in Providence, R.I. "Our research shows that emergency physicians can administer painkillers, including opiates, based on clinical and patient factors without concern for the effect on patient satisfaction scores."

Ms. Schwartz and her team analyzed Press Ganey® patient satisfaction surveys and electronic medical records for 4,749 patients discharged from two hospitals. Of those patients, 48.5 percent received analgesic medications in the emergency department, and of the patients who received analgesics, 60.9 percent received opiates.

After controlling for different variables, researchers found no relationship between Press Ganey® emergency department patient satisfaction scores and the receipt of analgesic medications or opiate analgesics. Higher patient satisfaction scores were connected to increasing age and male gender.

In some emergency departments, physician compensation is linked to patient satisfaction scores, which can exert pressure on physicians to comply with patient requests, even if those requests are medically unreasonable.

"The majority of emergency patients are in pain and emergency physicians face multiple challenges when treating them, including pressure to get high patient satisfaction scores," said Ms. Schwartz. "If emergency physicians believe that prescribing opiates will lead to high Press Ganey® satisfaction scores, they may be conflicted about what and how much to prescribe. Our study shows that while pain relief is a factor in patient satisfaction, it is far from the most important one."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American College of Emergency Physicians. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tayler M. Schwartz, Miao Tai, Kavita M. Babu, Roland C. Merchant. Lack of Association Between Press Ganey Emergency Department Patient Satisfaction Scores and Emergency Department Administration of Analgesic Medications. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2014.02.010

Cite This Page:

American College of Emergency Physicians. "Patient satisfaction scores in ER not affected by receipt of painkillers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327140103.htm>.
American College of Emergency Physicians. (2014, March 27). Patient satisfaction scores in ER not affected by receipt of painkillers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327140103.htm
American College of Emergency Physicians. "Patient satisfaction scores in ER not affected by receipt of painkillers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327140103.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

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