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Sun Country hospitals get high rating

A recent survey of patients in Sun Country Health Region rated the hospitals in this region as good as, or better than, the provincial average. Results of a survey of all Saskatchewan hospitals over the past year, conducted for health regions and the two-year-old Saskatchewan Health Quality Council, were released Tuesday, June 28.

Patients who participated in the survey between September 2004 and January 2005 rated hospitals in Sun Country higher than the provincial average on nine out of the 10 issues raised.

Patients were asked to rate overall care and impressions, overall doctor care, trust in nurses, overall pain control, the perception of medical error, responsiveness, respect and courtesy, and provider-patient communications.

Sun Country hospitals received a rating of 81 per cent on overall care, compared to a province-wide rating of 76 per cent; 76 per cent on trust in nurses compared to 75 province wide; 78 per cent on overall pain control compared to 77 per cent province wide.

Patients here gave local hospitals a rating of 87 per cent for responsiveness, compared to 84 per cent province-wide; 88 per cent for respect and courtesy compared to 85 per cent province wide and 87 per cent for overall impressions, compared to 86 per cent province wide.

About 1.7 per cent of patients here told pollsters they believed they suffered a medical error, compared to 3.3 per cent province wide. They rated overall doctor care at the same 77 per cent in local hospitals as the provincial average.

Hospitals provide acute care. In Sun Country, St. Joseph's Hospital, Estevan and Weyburn General Hospital are district hospitals while Arcola, Kipling and Redvers are community hospitals.

Community hospitals received the highest rating of all facilities in the survey.

Province-wide, community hospitals were rated at 84 per cent for overall care, 80 per cent for overall doctor care, 83 per cent for trust in nurses, 84 per cent for overall pain control, .8 per cent for the perception of medical error, 89 per cent for responsiveness, 79 per cent for provider patient communications, 88 per cent for respect and courtesy, and 89 per cent for overall impressions.

Dr. Ben Chan, Chief Executive Officer for the Health Quality Council (HQC), says the survey is an excellent tool for finding out what is working for patients, and where they feel care could be improved. "While most people are satisfied with their care, we would like to see even more patients choosing very good or excellent responses in subsequent surveys," says Chan.

"We want to work with regions to address areas where care might not be meeting patient expectations. The lower scores on provider-patient communications, for example, suggest we may need supports and systems to ensure we're doing a better job with this important aspect of hospital care."

Dr. Chan believes the survey provides important baseline information for the province. "Ontario has conducted patient surveys since 1998, and their experience is that having this information can result in positive change. By providing an opportunity for patient feedback, Saskatchewan regions have taken an important step in improving the quality of the hospital experience."

About 5000 surveys were completed in all.

For more information, please call Marga Cugnet, Vice President of Primary and Integrated Care at 842-8729

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