Painkiller prescribing decisions don’t influence patient satisfaction scores
A new analysis of Press Ganey patient surveys suggests that whether or not a patient receives painkillers when they present to the ED for care may have much less impact on patient satisfaction than previous thought.1
In the study, published in March in an online version of the Annals of Emergency Medicine, researchers reviewed Press Ganey patient satisfaction surveys and electronic medical records for more than 4,700 patients who were discharged from two hospitals. Nearly half of these patients (48.5%) received analgesic medications in the ED, and of this group, 60.9% received opiates. However, the researchers found no relationship between ED patient satisfaction scores and the receipt of either analgesic or opioid medications. Rather, they found that higher patient scores were associated with older age and male patients.
While this is just one study, the findings should offer some comfort to emergency providers who worry that denying patient requests for painkillers will adversely impact patient satisfaction scores. This is a big concern, particularly in EDs where patient satisfaction scores have a bearing on provider compensation. The authors state that physicians should base their prescribing on clinical and patient factors without having concerns about the impact these decisions will have on patient satisfaction.
- Schwartz T, Tai M, Babu K, et al. Lack of association between Press Ganey emergency department patient satisfaction scores and emergency department administration of analgesic medications. Annals of Emergency Medicine 2014 Mar 27. [Epub ahead of print]