Identifying priority action for improving patient satisfaction in outpatient cancer care

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International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics


Purpose/Objective(s) Assessment of the patient experience with outpatient care is typically performed using patient satisfaction surveys. This study aimed to determine where limited resources would best direct to improve the overall patient satisfaction. Materials/Methods From February 2016 to September 2019, we collected 1833 surveys of patient satisfaction originating from a single Radiation Oncology department obtained from a CMS-approved vendor. The survey contained 17 questions to assess five dimensions: Registration, Facility, Treatment, Personal Issue, and Overall. Items were evaluated on a Likert scale: very poor (1), poor (2), fair (3), good (4), and very good (5). The analysis was based on answers after converting them to 100-points scale (0 = 0 points, 1 = 20 points, 2 = 40 points, 3 = 60 points, 4 = 80 points, 5 = 100 points). A priority index was calculated to determine to where the improvements should be directed. The priority index was computed by combining two rank scores. The questions with higher priority index are reflecting the area where the mean scores are low (high score rank) and correlations are high with overall satisfaction score (high score rank). Results The descriptive statistics for the survey questions are presented. Total 1422 surveys with completed responses were included in the analysis. The mean score of registration, facility, treatment, doctor, and overall rating were 95.1, 92.8, 97.3, 97.8, 96.5, and 97.6. The Cronbach α for the entire questionnaire was 0.93, and the subscale reliability estimates for each dimension ranged from 0.78 to 0.93. The entire priority index was listed in the Table 2. Six highest scoring questions from the priority index table were: 1) our sensitivity to your needs, 2) responses to concerns/complaints made during your visit, 3) ease of the registration process, 4) cleanliness of the facility, 5) staff’s concern for your comfort, and 6) staff’s concern for your questions and worries. Five questions with lowest priority index score were: 1) overall rating of care received during your visit, 2) skill of the staff who provided your treatment, 3) Friendliness/courtesy of the staff who provided your treatment, 4) likelihood of your recommending our facility to others, and 5) how well staff worked together to provide care. Conclusion In sum, outpatient Radiation Oncology patient satisfaction scores reflected excellent services with lowest individual item mean score above 91. As a patient-center health system, the results potentially provided some hints of continuing of improving both patient experience of care and clinical process of care. The tentative quality improvements should focused on meeting patients’ emotional needs (our sensitive to patients’ needs) (response to concerns/complaints made during your visit), staff responsiveness (staff’s concern for your comfort) (staff’s concern for your questions and worries), easing the process of registration, and improving facility cleanliness.





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