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Bedside Ultrasound Maximizes Patient Satisfaction

      Abstract

      Background

      Bedside ultrasound (US) is associated with improved patient satisfaction, perhaps as a consequence of improved time to diagnosis and decreased length of stay (LOS).

      Objectives

      Our study aimed to quantify the association between beside US and patient satisfaction and to assess patient attitudes toward US and perception of their interaction with the clinician performing the examination.

      Methods

      We enrolled a convenience sample of adult patients who received a bedside US. The control group had similar LOS and presenting complaints but did not have a bedside US. Both groups answered survey questions during their emergency department (ED) visit and again by telephone 1 week later. The questionnaire assessed patient perceptions and satisfaction on a 5-point Likert scale.

      Results

      Seventy patients were enrolled over 10 months. The intervention group had significantly higher scores on overall ED satisfaction (4.69 vs. 4.23; mean difference 0.46; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.17–0.75), diagnostic testing (4.54 vs. 4.09; mean difference 0.46; 95% CI 0.16–0.76), and skills/abilities of the emergency physician (4.77 vs. 4.14; mean difference 0.63; 95% CI 0.29–0.96). A trend to higher scores for the intervention group persisted on follow-up survey.

      Conclusions

      Patients who had a bedside US had statistically significant higher satisfaction scores with overall ED care, diagnostic testing, and with their perception of the emergency physician. Bedside US has the potential not only to expedite care and diagnosis, but also to maximize satisfaction scores and improve the patient–physician relationship, which has increasing relevance to health care organizations and hospitals that rely on satisfaction surveys.

      Keywords

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