This blog post was written by our new guest blogger Michele Treinin, Healthcare Analyst of the Healthcare team at Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS).
Medical offices are constantly under the pressure to meet the needs of patients, not only to provide excellent healthcare but to also satisfy the patient from every aspect of their experience. Before we can even breach the satisfaction of the patient, we must look at our greatest asset, the staff. The new Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety measures various composites in the office and compares it to other medical offices in the country. This survey is important to you because it will discover your strengths and uncovers areas for improvement, which will ultimately lead to a more-efficient working environment if addressed; let’s delve a bit deeper.
Medical offices conjure up the thoughts of an intricate environment that often requires several different entities to complete daily tasks. Recently, more than 900 Medical Offices completed AHRQ’s Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety, which is designed to “measure the culture of patient safety in medical offices from the perspective of providers and staff.” The survey was developed in order to report on three purposes: (1) comparison with other medical offices; (2) assessment and learning and supplemental information, which would (3) identify office strengths and help improve the patient safety culture.
The 10 composites of organizational culture pertaining to patient safety that are measured include:
1) Communication About Error
2) Organizational Learning
3) Office Processes and Standardization
4) Staff Training
6) Work Pressure and Pace
7) Patient Care Tracking/Follow-up
8) Overall Perceptions of Patient Safety and Quality
9) Communication Openness
10) Owner/Managing Partner/Leadership Support for Patient Safety
Findings show that the areas of strength for most medical offices lie in ‘Teamwork’ (average 84% positive response) and ‘Patient Care Tracking/Follow-up’ (average of 82% positive response). Medical office ‘Teamwork’ is defined by the office culture, close working relationships among staff and providers and a mutual respect for one another. ‘Patient Care Tracking/Follow-up’ is defined by the documentation of patient treatment plans, following patients who need to be monitored, follow-up when reports from outside providers are not received and to which extent the office reminds patients of appointments. These two composites had the highest average percent positive response.
Findings show that the composite for most improvement is ‘Work Pressure & Pace’ (average 46% positive response), which can be defined as having enough staff and providers to handle the office patient load and the pace in the office is not hectic. With the ever-changing patient healthcare standards and expectations, it’s no surprise that the work pressure and pace would be the area for most improvement. Does this seem like an issue in your office? Do you wish that you could better control the pace or better yet, see how well the office is doing in the previous 10 composites?
Was your office not included in the study but would be interested in the results if they could be tailored to you? Here at RMS, we are able to help. We are experts at administering surveys, collecting data, formulating results and consulting directly to your needs. Better yet, we can compare your office to the national results and get you where you want to be. Ultimately, it will help you connect the dots between staff satisfaction and patient satisfaction.
For more information, please contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or call her at 315-635-9802. Also, for a full report of the Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture, please click here to visit the AHRQ.gov site.