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Reported Satisfaction with Hospital Services


12 October 2000

Reported Satisfaction with Hospital and Health Services Encouraging

NEARLY 90 per cent of participants in a survey assessing satisfaction with their public hospital experience reported it was good or very good, a just-released report shows.

The Ministry of Health's Quarterly Review of Comparative Hospital and Health Service Performance to 30 June 2000 includes the results of a patient survey. Thirteen Hospital and Health Services participated, while the other nine will be able to implement the survey as from the September quarter.

Hospital Monitoring Directorate Deputy Director General Andrew Duncan said the June quarter results were encouraging.

"In response to the question 'overall how satisfied were you with our service', 67.5 per cent of inpatients rated the experience very good, and another 21.7 per cent rated it good. A further 7.2 per cent said it was adequate, 2.2 per cent labelled it poor and 1.5 per cent very poor.

"Of participating outpatients, 66.8 per cent rated the service very good, 23.2 per cent good, 7.2 per cent adequate, 1.7 per cent poor and 1.2 per cent very poor," Mr Duncan said.

"Because the satisfaction is generally high, in future we will focus particular attention on unsatisfactory ratings persisting over time, or which appear to be concentrated in a certain population group, for example the aged. It does have to be remembered that a poor rating does not necessarily indicate poor service quality. It could reflect that patients' perceptions did not meet their expectations."

The report also showed that the rate of bloodstream infections (2.28 per one thousand inpatients) has improved over the past two years, and that in six out of the past eight quarters, it was below the five-yearly average.

"Of more signficance than the lower rate is that the degree of variation in the level of blood stream infections is decreasing, suggesting that hospital and health services are managing to more carefully control them," Mr Duncan said.

The report also covers the financial performance of Hospital and Health Services.

ENDS

For further information contact; Sue McCabe, Media Advisor, 04 496 2067 or 025 495 989 The report is available on the Ministry's website, address; http://www.moh.govt.nz

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