(photo credit: COURTESY OF DR YEHEZKEL CAINE/HERZOG HOSPITAL)
The public’s general satisfaction with emergency departments in the country’s hospitals has seen a marginal increase from 56% two years ago to 62%, a poll found on Wednesday.
However, emergency rooms still have a long way to go if they are to completely satisfy patients with their performance.
The Health Ministry, which issued results of its second national survey that examined the patient experience, took credit, along with the public hospitals, for the positive change. “It is evident that there is a significant improvement in most parameters in most hospitals, which attest to the significant work carried out by the hospitals in improving the quality of service and quality of care,” the ministry said.
The emergency departments are eligible for incentive payments for improving their performance, said the Health Ministry, which said its report promotes transparency in the health system.
The survey was conducted between June and August this year as part of the ministry’s National Patient Experience Program, which aims to promote alternative services in urgent care, improve operational processes and technological solutions, set standards, add medical personnel and create new positions (such as physician assistants or operations managers), as well as improve physical infrastructures, among others.
The ministry said the program was “the first of its kind” in the world and serves as a pilot for additional programs to be developed in hospitals.
In order to implement this goal, a special training program was developed, which includes a toolbox for improving the patient and therapist experience. It also encompasses various topics in the field of communication skills between a therapist and patient, tools for coping with stress, coordination and cooperation between staff, and continuity of treatment.
As of June 2016, three cycles of change leadership training were conducted at 22 different hospitals throughout the country.
The survey was last conducted between June and August 2015. In both studies, 400 patients – 300 adults and 100 parents of children in pediatric emergency rooms – were asked about the attitudes towards them, how long they waited, how well the medical staff communicated with them and how clear their explanations were, the coordination among service providers and the sense of order and organization.
They were also queried on whether they would recommend the emergency department to others who needed urgent care.
The hospitals with the highest rated emergency rooms were, in this order: Rabin Medical Center-Hasharon Campus in Petah Tikva (82%); the Scottish Hospital in Nazareth (80%); Ma’ayanei Hayeshua in Bnei Brak (80%); Poriya Medical Center in Tiberias (78%); Carmel Medical Center in Haifa (77%); Bnai Zion Medical Center in Haifa (75%); Western Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya (75%); Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem (74%); Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem (74%); Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba (74%); Rabin Medical Center- Beilinson Campus (74%) and Hadassah Mount Scopus in Jerusalem (74%).
Of the 25 general hospitals that were rated, Wolfson Medical Center in Holon received only 63% satisfaction, while Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon was at the bottom of the list with 62%.
Bnei Zion got the highest rating for pediatric emergency departments of 91%, followed by Poriya which received 90%.
In the major metropolitan areas, smaller hospitals, which have less pressure on their emergency rooms, generally got higher ratings than the larger ones.
Patients who had been in the emergency room for up to two hours were more satisfied than those where were there for four hours.
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