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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 16(1); 2005 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2005;16(1): 63-70.
Considerations of Complaints in Four Tertiary Hospital Emergency Centers
Ki Cheul Noh, Jae Kwang Kim, Yong Soo Lim, Hyuk Jun Yang, Keun Lee, Seok Ran Yeom, Jong Hwan Shin, Bung Kook Lee
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Gachon Medical School, Gil Medical Center, Incheon, Korea. yanghj@gachon.ac.kr
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Pusan National University Hospital, Pusan, Korea.
3Department of Emergency Medicine, Armed Forces Capital Hospital, Korea.
4Department of Emergency Medicine, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea.
When using the emergency room of a tertiary hospital, both patients and their relatives or friends sometimes experience dissatisfaction and complain. Patient satisfaction deserves attention not only because it is an intrinsically worthy goal but also because it is a potentially significant mediator for promoting health and well-being. This study aims to identify patient's official complaints and to improve the quality of care in the Emergency Department (ED).
We investigated retrospectively 144 official complaints of visitors in 4 tertiary university hospital emergency centers between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2003.
Among those 144 official complaints from the 4 hospital emergency centers were 116 appropriate complaints, as determined by the inclusion criteria, and 212 detailed descriptions of dissatisfaction. The seven major categories of dissatisfactions were analyzed: rudeness or lack of kindness, delayed waiting time, insufficient explanation of patient condition, distrust of treatment, absence of a specialist, poor emergency-department environment, and high treatment fee.
Dissatisfaction related to the lack of kindness was the most common problem in all four university hospital emergency centers. The next most important problem was the delayed time or distrust of treatment. The concrete causes of the complaints varied with the hospital. To improve the quality of care for patients in the ED, the hospital staff should be more attentive and kind and should explain the patient's condition in more detail. Reducing the waiting time is also important.
Key words: Patient satisfaction, Emergency department
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