Week 8 Assignment: Signature Assignment Presentation: The Oral Defense Video

Week 8 Assignment: Signature Assignment Presentation: The Oral Defense Video

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Week 8 Assignment: Signature Assignment Presentation: The Oral Defense Video

Running head: DECLINED PATIENT SATISFACTION IN THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT 1

 

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DECLINED PATIENT SATISFACTION IN THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Declined Patient Satisfaction in The Emergency Department

Student’s Name

Institutional Affiliation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abstract

Declining patient satisfaction in the emergency department (ED) demands urgent resolution. Aspects worsening patient experience at the ED are long waiting times, congestion at waiting rooms, long queues, and high rates of patients leaving without being treated. These aspects lead to poor service delivery, thereby damaging the reputation of the hospital’s ED. If the challenges remain unsolved, the hospital with a record-high rate of decreased revenue collection since the high number of patients leaving to seek services from other hospitals and cannot refer others to seek care from the hospital. The emergency department is the main source of the revenue collection of the hospital. There should be a computerized system to help patients avoid document loss, information leakage, and noncompliance to the ED’s clarence procedures. From a cultural perspective, respecting patients’ rights, their beliefs, and protecting confidentiality enhances patient satisfaction. The violation of patients’ rights and privacy make them unhappy with provided services. Policies are needed to ensure nurses and physicians observe culture and ethics to improve the satisfaction of patients. Most states in the U.S. have enacted laws on patient confidentiality to maintain legal compliance in the ED. A practice of audiovisual recording is unethical within the ED. There is a need to post precautions in the emergency room, waiting for the bay, and patient wards to discourage such acts. Emergency departments need to consider compliance with scientific, analytical, cultural, legal, and ethical demands to enhance patient satisfaction.

Keywords: patient satisfaction, the emergency department, confidentiality, policies

 

 

Declined Patient Satisfaction in The Emergency Department

In the 21st century, hospital emergency departments (EDs), along with healthcare providers working in these departments, are a crucial element of the United States (U.S.) healthcare system. For a half-century, EDs have emerged as a promising feature of transforming the U.S. healthcare system. As emergency care continues to evolve, patients, care workers, emergency care services, and facilities have experience evident changes because of the increasing daily number of patient visits. These patients are different and perceive the provision of services differently, an implication that healthcare providers need to consider ethical, cultural, and legal to satisfy patients’ needs. These diverse patients expect getting quality emergency care services without waiting for long, queuing, leaving without being treated, and crowding the ED. Congress affirmed the ED’s role as the key safety net for U.S. healthcare by enacting the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) in 1986. In the U.S., most states have passed laws on patient confidentiality which enable an individual to make part of interplay to record it because only consent from one party is needed to get care services in the ED. The increasing patient visits imply the EDs become overwhelmed, especially if the manual system is the only system for clearing and admitting patients. Declined patient dissatisfaction is a measure of the level of patients getting satisfied with offered emergence care services, including the consequences of the decline in terms of revenue generation and hospital reputation, all of which need a computerized system as a remedy to ensure increasing patient satisfaction.

The decreasing patient satisfaction scores in the hospital emergency department (ED) undermine patient experience who need urgent and immediate attention emergence care services. Many patients take a long time from arrival to admission to discharge, thereby forcing them not to make referrals to the hospital. For instance, suppose the hospital needs to hypothetically increase patient satisfaction scores from the 10th percentile to the 60th percentile and increase the patient volume by 10% from the mean of 7,000 patients per quarter to 8,000 patients per quarter. In that case, it must adopt a computerized clearance and admission system in the emergency room to ensure the work’s fast flow. This system will enhance workflow within the department and enhance the level at which patients get satisfied with provided services.

Patients’ declined satisfaction scores from the emergency department lead to damage to the hospital image and reputation in general. These declining scores imply increased rates of patients leaving without being treated who attribute the condition to poor emergency care services delivery (Vashi, Sheikhi, Nshton, Ellman, Rajagopal, & Asch, 2018). The main causes of patient dissatisfaction are length waits before getting admitted, and patients walking without being treated (Unwin, Nurs, Kinsman, Rigby, & Nurs, 2016). The emergency department’s policies determine the productivity of nurses in terms of clearing patients to receive emergency services. Many patients decide to leave to look for care services in other hospitals if their current healthcare facility cannot meet their care needs and demands. These incidences are the ones that significantly contribute to decreased patient satisfaction.

The improvement and enhancement of the ED operational efficiency facilitate the hospital to accommodate increased volume while enhancing the quality of care and satisfaction of the ED patients who have minimal additional resources, space, or staffing. In the United States, between 1995 to 2009, the yearly ED visits had increased from 96.5 million to 136.1 million (Sayah, Rogers, Devarajan, Kingsley-Rocker, & Lobon, 2014). This improvement was an increment of 41%, meaning the country’s healthcare system was supposed to have adequate healthcare facilities with enough ED resources to accommodate increased patient visits. Fortunately, the U.S. has witnessed decreasing lengthy ED waits, leaving without being treated, and increased quality care outcomes and patient satisfaction scores (Sayah et al., 2014). According to Sayah et al., (2014), in 2010, only 31% of American Emergency Departments had attained the required triage targets for their patients, and the other 48% healthcare facilities hospitalized their patients within 6 hours.

The impact of decreased patient satisfaction scores implies reduced revenue generation from the emergency department (ED). ED is the leading source and center for revenue collection in any hospital, which supports other departments’ operations. If patients leave without being treated, it means they do not make any payment to the ED; thus, revenue continues decreasing such that the hospital cannot meet its financial needs to operate. So, the impacts of reduced satisfaction scores directly affect the hospital’s ED and finance department in general.

Within the emergency department, various operational issues are leading to challenges such as IT system leaking patient charts and leaving them unprocessed and, therefore, payment left unaccounted, and patients leaving without treatment (LWOT) (Baker & Marco, 2020). From an analytical point of view, the loss of documents and charts represent revenue loss and increases incidences of non-compliance. For instance, the assumed analysis below explains how ED can experience revenue loss:

Annual patient visits are 100,000. Assuming that the lengthy waits lower the visits to 85,000 due to patients leaving without being treated (LWBT) and that professional fee reimbursement is $120 per patient visit, the impact of LWBT will be an annual loss of $1.8 million in professional-fee revenue due to low patient flow. If the ED has a yearly LWBT rate of 3%, it will incur a revenue loss of $375,000 in fee revenue.

The primary issues linked to decreasing satisfaction scores involve an unmet expectation of patients needing emergency care services and damage to reputation. The given emergence services should be patient-centered to ensure that the satisfaction scores remain high. The damage to the hospital’s reputation is one of the core areas that need greater attention. Also, the significance of meeting patient care needs may positively impact the reputation of nurses working at the ED. For every 100 patient visits, 50 patients leave before seeing the care provider. Assuming that each patient visit contributes $250, it means when 50 leave the ED, the hospital loses a revenue of $12,500.

Valid patient satisfaction scores motivated the ED to improve the delivery of quality care. If the scores decline, ED, physicians, and entire hospital are negatively affected. For instance, declining scores demotivates physicians or clinicians and affect their job satisfaction because the healthcare outcomes are discouraging and not motivating. In a study by Bachman (2016), 78% of nurses said patient satisfaction scores adversely impacted their work satisfaction in a negative way, and 28% said that the scores make them think of quitting. The manual system’s use to enter patient data, store, and retrieve is the major leading cause of slow patient workflow. Suppose nurses working at ED fail to meet patients’ expectations due to this manual system used to enter, store, and retrieve data. In that case, the outcome is overcrowding, lengthy waits, and leaving without being treated (Vashi et al., 2018). This manual system cause inconveniences that translate to declining patient satisfaction scores.

Patients expect getting quality emergency care services from ED. As a result, nurses and physicians should concentrate on observing cultural, ethical, legal, and regulatory guidelines to make legitimate decisions that do not lead to declined patient satisfaction scores. When providing treatment to ED patients, it is critical to consider their consent because any ED’s decision, contrary to their wish, is likely to decrease satisfaction scores. Various ethical, cultural, legal, and regulations determine the level of patient satisfaction at ED depending on how nurses put into practice such factors.

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) directs healthcare facilities to develop and implement regulations concerning patient audiovisual recording within the emergency department, involving limitations in areas with a justifiable expectation of confidentiality (Iserson, Allan, Geiderman, & Goett, 2019). Depending on the state and hospital, rules and regulations that restrict audiovisual recordings vary. For instance, healthcare centers such as Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles and Vail Medical Center in Colorado have implemented laws limiting most recordings that even family members of patients have granted a permission.

In many states, confidentiality legislation permits an individual making part of a discussion or interplay to record it because only consent from one party is required to receive treatment in the emergency department. That consent requirement implies that even if an individual is not a party to the discussion, for instance, family members overseeing interactions of a care provider with a sick person, they can record the interplay provided that one party gets participates in consent. From 2019, any audiovisual-based recording among ED patients without two-party consent became unlawful in more than eleven states, normally as part of their wiretapping legislation. For instance, according to Iserson et al., (2019), California law gives at most $2500 penalty and one-year imprisonment due to violation of audiovisual recording Act.

Iserson et al., (2019) review ethical and legal issues facing emergency departments that struggle to improve patient satisfaction scores. Through the research, audiovisual recording within emergency departments is unethical and illegal since it violates patient privacy and confidentiality rights. Since patients are not supposed to be recorded without their consent, nurses who record them continue to lower patient satisfaction since recording make patients’ experience hard (Iserson et al., 2019). In general, recording images and voices of ED patients raises legal and ethical concerns. Moskop et al., (2019) review ethical and moral consequences that result from overcrowding within the emergency department (Moskop, Geiderman, Marshall, McGreevy, Derse, Bookman, & Iserson, 2019). The article indicates that some of the significant moral and ethical outcomes of overcrowding are delivering poor patient outcomes, medication mistakes, and compromised patient privacy and confidentiality.

Hospitals have focused on discouraging illegal audiovisual recording by posting precautions at the admission rooms, waiting hall, and patient rooms. As a result of the varying privacy and confidential Acts, nurses at ED need to work as if they are ever being recorded, all the time keeping professionalism and communicating precisely. Taking patient photographs present a significant challenge. Because these photographs do not include audio recording, they are not restricted or prohibited, even in states requiring two-party consent, unless certain laws exist (Iserson et al., 2019). However, they can be illegal and prohibited in private healthcare centers with policies regarding photography. Offences may lead to a breach of the right of a person to confidentiality.

From the perspective of ethical theories, utilitarianism theory best explains the consequences of ED situations with long waits, overcrowding, and patients leaving without being treated. Under the context of utilitarianism, hospitals should predict patient satisfaction consequences if they decide to offer emergency care services in an environment that is not conducive for patients. When the ED becomes congested, experiences slow workflow, and many patients are leaving without treatment; it means that the hospital, ED, in particular, does not act in a way that benefits patients seeking emergency services (McCarthy, Mikkola, & Thomas, 2020). This act may increase death risks. As a result, patients feel unsatisfied with the offered services and may consider seeking emergency care services from other hospitals.

According to Govere & Govere, (2016), healthcare workers should consider cultural and ethical factors to enhance general patient satisfaction. According to the article, the United States experiences increased healthcare disparities and needs, minority groups, regulations, and ethical requirements (Govere, & Govere, 2016). Respecting a patient’s right, cultural beliefs, right to life, make a decision, and respect is critical for healthcare specialists to be culturally qualified to offer quality care and enhance satisfaction of patient, especially among marginalized populations.

Emergency departments experience tremendous issues and challenges when giving high-quality emergence care to patients of different backgrounds. There are shortages of linguistically and ethnically diverse nurses who can help in ameliorating ethnic disparities in ED. Cultural factors prevalent among ethnic groups are supportive and substitute medicine, health insurance‐related prejudice, racial concordance of a nurse and patient, and discrimination on age basis. Spirituality, the participation of a family of patient in making healthcare choices, and ethnicity‐based discrimination are unique to minority groups (Nápoles‐Springer, Santoyo, Houston, Pérez‐Stable, & Stewart, 2005). Experiences concerning the acceptance of nurses of complementary and alternative drugs are mixed among blacks, with most physicians at ED implying insensitivity to choices of patients receiving emergence care services.

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