Satisfaction in NB hospitals rise, cleanliness needs improvement: report

Overall satisfaction by the public in New Brunswick hospitals has improved according to a report published by the New Brunswick Health Council on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Primary health improvement needed: N.B. health system report card

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The council gathered information from more than 6,700 people in the province who had been discharged from a hospital between December 2015 and March 2016 and stayed at least one night as a medical, surgical or maternity patient at an acute care facility.  Responses were received from people who stayed in hospitals in both of the province’s regional health authorities.

Survey results showed 78.9 per cent of patients rated their hospital stay favourably, with respondents ranking the hospital between eight and 10 out of 10. The rate was higher than what the province saw in past surveys, with 75.9 per cent in 2010 and 75.4 per cent in 2013. The survey also found high ratings from patients who felt their safety was taken seriously – 81.8 per cent – and 72.5 per cent felt there was good communication with nurses.

The ranking patients gave to New Brunswick hospitals following their stay and the resulting favourability percentage. (Credit: New Brunswick Health Council)

Several key indicators were used in the survey, including language of service, pain control and safety. Sixteen indicators were used to produce the report, though 56 were used in total in the survey. For the 2016 survey, new indicators were also added which included admission process, discharge, and if patients felt helped by staying at the hospital.

“New Brunswickers use this survey to share their praise and concerns with our hospitals, said Stephane Robichaud, the NBHC’s CEO, in a release. “Improving health system performance by sharing their experiences, they support better health services for all of us.”

The report did show some issue however in terms of cleanliness, with about 52 per cent of survey respondents reporting they found both their hospital room and bathroom “always” clean. The rate was also a drop from previous survey results, where 59.6 per cent of people in 2010 and 53.2 per cent in 2013 reported clean rooms. By comparison, 30.4 per cent said rooms were usually clean while only 4.3 per cent said rooms were never kept clean.

How people ranked cleanliness in their New Brunswick hospital room and bathroom. (Credit: New Brunswick Health Council)

READ MORE: New Brunswick health network hears from public on patient experience

Patients also gave mixed reviews when it came to being “completely informed” about the admission process based on where they were admitted. Only 47 per cent of people said they were completely informed when being admitted in the emergency room, while 63.3 per cent being informed when admitted through planned or “other means.”

Other highlights of the report showed 61 per cent of patients got help as soon as they pressed the “call button” and more than 80 per cent of patients reported they always received service in their preferred language – 93.5 per cent when English was preferred and about 84 per cent when French was preferred.

An overall look at hospital experience by patients in New Brunswick in 2016. (Credit: New Brunswick Health Council)

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