New Study: Patients Dissatisfied with Hospitals

A new survey on patients’ opinions on their hospital stays has some disturbing results:

Many patients reported that they had not been treated with courtesy and respect by doctors and nurses; that they had not received adequate pain medication after surgery; and that they did not understand the instructions they received when discharged from the hospital.

Nationwide, in the average hospital, 67 percent of patients said they would definitely recommend the institution where they had been treated to friends and relatives. Sixty-three percent gave their hospitals a score of 9 or 10 on a scale of 0 to 10.

At the average hospital, more than 25 percent of patients said nurses had not always communicated well with them.

There is more at stake here than the patients’ feelings, as Dr. Carolyn Clancy notes:

“Poor communication is a major source of medical errors,” Dr. Clancy said. “If doctors are not listening carefully, patients may not bring up important information. Patients who do not understand discharge instructions are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital or end up in the emergency room.”

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