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A Province-wide Survey of New Brunswick Hospitals Providing Acute Care

June 7, 2010
Moncton (NBHC) – The New Brunswick Health Council is releasing the results of its first province-wide survey, entitled Hospital Patient Care Experience in New Brunswick. The survey targeted hospital patients who stayed at least one night in an acute care setting during the months of November and December of 2009 and January, 2010. Over 10,000 questionnaires were mailed out with a response rate of nearly 50%. Three out of four patients responded by giving the province’s facilities a thumbs-up in terms of overall rating. This is comparable to other hospitals in North America using this type of survey.
The objective of the survey is to provide baseline data and information for each hospital in order to measure and monitor improvements over time. Understandably, New Brunswickers will be curious to know how hospitals in the province are faring. To see the results, the NBHC encourages New Brunswickers to visit the NBHC website. An interactive map will help citizens locate the results at the provincial level, by regional health authority, and by hospital. The map can be located at http://nbhc.ca/care_experience_survey.cfm or by clicking here.
The survey highlighted a number of positive areas worth mentioning:
·         Communication with doctors was rated at 78.5%, which is comparable to other survey scores ranging between 72% and 78%.
·         Communication with nurses was rated at 69.4%, which is comparable to other survey scores ranging between 65% and 71%.
·         The percentage of patients who reported they would “definitely recommend” their hospital was 66.1%, and similar survey scores range between 57% and 67%.
In the meantime, the survey also highlighted some opportunities for improvement in the health system:
·         Only half the respondents reported that staff “Always” explained about medicines before giving it to them.
·         Just 57.5% of those surveyed said “Always” in answering questions about responsiveness.
·         Information about what to do during recovery at home varied among the hospitals and needs attention because of its relationship to quality care.
·         Only 59.6% of patients reported that their room and bathroom were kept clean, compared to similar survey scores that range between 60% and 70%.
·         Language of service is an area where many facilities still have work to do, in both of the province’s official languages; where 91% of patients who preferred English received it in that language and 74.6% of patients who preferred French received it in their language of choice.
“The survey is a great tool for the two regional health authorities to identify where opportunities for improvement may exist, determine possible solutions, and provide a benchmark to measure whether or not progress has been achieved,” noted the NBHC CEO, Stéphane Robichaud, adding “much like the regional health authorities, the New Brunswick Health Council will be busy over the next few months analysing the data even further.”
Already, the survey has provided some interesting findings about the province’s health system:
·         Male patients reported a higher overall hospital rating than female patients did. Those under 45 years of age reported lower overall ratings than those in the two higher age brackets. The more education a patient had, the lower the overall rating they offered.
·         There was no significant difference in overall hospital rating between those who preferred English as their language of service and those who preferred French.
·         Aboriginal persons surveyed rated their care experience comparable to non-aboriginal persons, with the only exception being they reported better than average discharge information.
·         The patient safety rating in the province was 5.1%. This compared to a range of 3.6% to 7.5%.
Much like the NBHC, the Department of Health and the two RHAs have only just received the data collected in the survey. The survey has provided a great deal of information already, but the work has only just begun.
The NBHC has been established as an independent and objective organization that measures, monitors and evaluates New Brunswick’s health system performance through a citizen-centered dual mandate of performance measurement and citizen engagement.
David Gingras, 506-869-6714, david.gingras@nbhc.ca, www.nbhc.ca