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Emergency Department Patient Satisfaction Nearly 100 Percent

New Britain [August 20 2008] - The Emergency Department at the Hospital of Central Connecticut at New Britain General is tops – ranking in the 99th percentile nationwide, according to a recent survey.

The outstanding scores came despite an ongoing surge in the number of patients – more than 72,000 annually – seeking treatment in an ED where the average time in the waiting room is just 10.4 minutes.

Patient satisfaction scores on surveys administered by Press Ganey, an independent firm, put the New Britain General campus Emergency Department (ED) in the top 1 percent nationwide compared to EDs of similar size for the latest quarter (April through June).

“Our focus from the top down is excellence in patient care and we do what we need to do to make that happen,” said Bob Flade, R.N., M.S., ED director. “Over the last five years we’ve had significant, steady improvement.”

A big factor in patient satisfaction is reduced wait time. Last year, 70 to 80 percent of New Britain General campus ED patients were seen by a physician or physician assistant (P.A.) within 60 minutes.

Increased staff efficiency and technological advances contribute to that reduced wait time, said Jeffrey Finkelstein, M.D., the hospital’s chief of Emergency Medicine. At any time, a software program enables Finkelstein to better gauge physician and physician assistant staffing needs. Other contributing factors include patient tracking by the charge nurse, who helps ensure patients are in rooms as quickly as possible; computerized ED patient records; and an ED greeter who helps track patient movement into the main ED.

“The whole ED team is focused on excellence in care and in customer service,” said Finkelstein. “Both are intertwined and from a patient’s perspective, they are one in the same.”

High patient satisfaction levels coincide with the recently completed, $6.5 million ED expansion and renovation and increased ED volume. The New Britain General campus ED is now the fifth busiest in Connecticut (third busiest when combined with the Bradley Memorial campus ED).

High employee morale and increased patient safety emphasis are also critical toward achieving high patient satisfaction rates, said Flade. Currently, there are no nursing vacancies in the ED, despite the national ED nursing shortage. Management, he said, is very supportive of staff. Other recent studies and reports show high rates of job satisfaction among New Britain General campus ED nurses and physicians, as well as high ratings by ED staff for the department’s teamwork and safety climate.

“If we provide excellent care, then the scores will be good,” said Flade. “We also hire only the best staff, the right people. They know they make a positive difference in their patients’ lives.”

Contact: Nancy Martin, 860-224-5900, ext. 4366














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