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Slow or swift, your patients’ experience won’t drift: absence of correlation between physician productivity and the patient experience

  • Kasia Lenz (a1), Andrew McRae (a1), Dongmei Wang (a1), Benjamin Higgins (a2), Grant Innes (a1), Timothy Cook (a2) and Eddy Lang (a1)...

Absract

Objectives

To evaluate the relationship between Emergency Physician (EP) productivity and patient satisfaction with Emergency Department (ED) care.

Methods

This retrospective observational study linked administrative and patient experience databases to measure correlations between the patient experience and EP productivity. The study was performed across three Calgary EDs (from June 2010 to July 2013). Patients>16 years old with completed Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) ED Patient Experience Surveys were included. EP productivity was measured at the individual physician level and defined as the average number of patients seen per hour. The association between physician productivity and patient experience scores from six composite domains of the HQCA ED Patient Experience Survey were examined using Pearson correlation coefficients, linear regression modelling, and a path analysis.

Results

We correlated 3,794 patient experience surveys with productivity data for 130 EPs. Very weak non-significant negative correlations existed between productivity and survey composites: “Staff Care and Communication” (r=-0.057, p=0.521), “Discharge Communication” (r=-0.144, p=0.102), and “Respect” (r=-0.027, p=0.760). Very weak, non-significant positive correlations existed between productivity and the composite domains: “Medication Communication” (r=0.003, p=0.974) and “Pain management” (r=0.020, p=0.824). A univariate general linear model yielded no statistically significant correlations between EP productivity and patient experience, and the path analysis failed to show a relationship between the variables.

Conclusion

We found no correlation between EP productivity and the patient experience.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Dr. Kasia Lenz, Department of Emergency Medicine, Foothills Medical Centre, Room C231, 1403 - 29 St. NW, Calgary, AB. T2N 2T9; Email: kasia.lenz@albertahealthservices.ca.

References

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