Patients gave the highest score to the nursing service and the lowest to the doctor service, in the “Patient Evaluation of Medical Service Experience,” which was conducted for the first time last year. The relatively low score of the doctor service reflects the fact that patients do not have sufficient opportunities to meet with doctors and talk to them.
The respondents also noted that they have not enough opportunity to participate in the decision-making process of the medical treatments and that it is difficult for them to file complaints.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service (HIRA) released the results of the patient experience survey conducted on 14,970 adults aged 19 or older admitted to a tertiary hospital or a general hospital with more than 500 beds for more than a day.
The survey was conducted by phone from July to November last year and asked 19 questions on the hospitalization experience including nurse/doctor services, medication and treatment procedures, hospital environment and protection of patients’ rights, two questions on the overall assessment of the hospitalization experience, and three questions on personal information.
As a result, the overall hospitalization experience marked 83.9 points, and the nursing service received the highest score of 88.8 points. The nurses’ attitude toward patients and their communication skills received high points ranging from 87.3 to 89.9 points. The category on the nurses’ ability to listen attentively to the patients, in particular, scored more than 89 points.
On the other hand, the doctor service received the lowest score of 82.3 points along with the medication and treatment procedure (82.3 points). Two questions on doctors’ attitudes toward patients marked 88.8 points. The patients gave lowest scores to the categories inquiring whether they had enough opportunity to meet and talk with doctors (74.6 points) and whether there was enough information on the rounding hours (77 points).
“Categories on respect, courtesy and listening that asked about nurses and doctors’ attitudes toward patients received high scores. However, the scores were lower on areas that cannot be improved by individual efforts such as rounding hours or creating more opportunities for the doctor and the patient to meet,” said Lee Ki-sung, an evaluation officer at HIRA. “This problem is attributable to environmental and institutional factors.”
In the case of the subcategories of the medication and treatment procedure which scored 82.3 points overall along with the doctor service, information on post-discharge care scored 84.9 points, medical staff’s efforts to alleviate patients’ pain 84.1 points, pre-treatment explanations 83 points, and post-treatment explanations on side effects, 81.6 points. The subcategory of providing comfort and empathy, however, scored low with 78.2 points.
The category on the protection of patient rights also marked a relatively low score of 82.8 points. Among the subcategories, the question of whether the patients received fair treatment (87.6 points) and considerate care so that they do not feel shame (84.8 points) scored higher than average. However, questions of whether patients had sufficient opportunities to participate in the treatment decision-process (79.7 points) or whether they were able to file complaints easily (73 points) received comparatively low scores.
Categories on hospital environment received 84.1 points, clean environment 83.1 points, and safe environment 85.1 points. The overall evaluation was 83.2 points, the general hospitalization experience 83.8 points, and the question of whether they will recommend the hospital to others scored 82.6 points.
Nursing service scored the highest and the protection of patients’ rights the lowest, according to an analysis on the institutional evaluation of the 92 tertiary hospitals or general hospitals with more than 500 beds among the total 95 institutions which participated in the survey. The results of the institutional evaluation will be announced on the ministry’s website at 6 p.m. Thursday.
“The announcement of the results of medical service experience evaluation, in which the patients participated in for the first time, is a significant first step toward providing patient-centered medical care,” said Hong Jeong-ki, director of the ministry’s Insurance Evaluation Division. “We will continuously improve and carry on the evaluation together with the medical community, patients, consumers and the academics.”
Go Seong-hye, head of the evaluation management department at HIRA, also said, “I hope that the evaluation results that contain many people’s voices get to be well reflected in the medical field so that a patient-centered medical culture can take root.”
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