Features / Health

Jewish General satisfaction dips, but so do bedsores

BY: IRWIN BLOCK

The average satisfaction rate of patients at the Jewish General Hospital has been dropping marginally over the past two years, but it remains above the 80-per-cent level.

The satisfaction level dropped almost three percentage points—to 81.5 per cent in the April 2011 to March 2012 period from an average of 84.5 per cent during the previous 12 months.

The hospital, which says it is aiming at a 95-per-cent satisfaction level, interprets the results from both periods as a positive endorsement of the quality of medical care patients receive.

Quebec last year became the first province to publish a standardized list of medical errors reported by hospitals, community health clinics and nursing homes.

The Jewish General and McGill University Health Centre have gone farther than many other Quebec hospitals in detailing medical errors on their websites, which other hospitals have not yet done.

Scoring above 80 per cent in each six-month period “means that the JGH is doing a good job of meeting patients’ needs and expectations,” it said in a statement.

Patients were effectively saying “improvement is probably needed and should be seriously considered,” the hospital concluded.

The survey is based on answers from 70 randomly selected patients to a 26-part questionnaire filled out as they were discharged.

The hospital prides itself on having been the first in Quebec to make public performance information.

In other data made public in June:

• Reported medication errors averaged 947 during each six-month period from April 2010 to September 2011. Of these, an average of 139 required staff intervention to prevent harm, while an average of 12 resulted in “more severe consequences.”

• Reported patient falls averaged 429 during each six-month period from April 2010 to September 2011. Of these, an average of 157 resulted in “a small cut or bump” and did not prolong hospitalization, while an average of 11 caused “more serious injury.”

• Concerning bedsores, or pressure ulcer prevention, the hospital recorded its best documented result. From 25 per cent having developed this hazardous and irritating condition in March 2010—the Canadian average—the hospital by last month had reduced the prevalence of hospital-acquired bedsores to six per cent.

Steps taken included assessing patients’ skin on admission; developing a care plan for those at risk, including regular skin inspection; customizing patients’ diets to ensure sufficient protein and calories; encouraging mobile patients to get out of bed as often as possible; turning at-risk patients every two hours; and acquisition of specialized mattresses and chairs.

irblock@hotmail.com

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