What do parents value in outpatient experiences with their children’s otolaryngology and pediatric surgeons?
Background: While the patient and family experience is increasingly valued as a metric for quality care, evaluation of the qualitative feedback given by parents regarding their experience with pediatric otolaryngologists and surgeons has not previously been reported.
Explore this issue:June 2014
Study design: This is a mixed-methods analysis of parent satisfaction comments obtained from the physicians’ comment section of the Medical Practice Survey (Press Ganey) over nine months in 2012.
Setting: Single American tertiary care center.
Synopsis: Of 729 surveys, 195 (29%) contained comments in the physician’s section; 70% of comments were positive, 26% were negative and 4% were neutral. Seventy-eight (45%) comments focused on the interpersonal style of the physician—specifically, the interaction between provider and child, including general friendliness as well as empathy for the parents’ concerns. Eighty-two (47%) comments focused on the technical skills or knowledge of the physician, with ability to explain treatment and answer questions highlighted. The most common negative subgroup focused on difficulties with explanation of treatment. Fourteen (8%) comments focused on systems issues, and 13 of those (93%) were negative and related to issues with parking/location, scheduling, appointment wait times, and cleanliness. This study focuses on the fact that interaction with the child is valued as highly as interaction with the parents. Limitations include the fact that the questions are optional, making a selection bias for very positive or negative comments likely, and there was no ability to correlate between the qualitative and quantitative survey results.
Bottom line: Parent comments regarding care given by pediatric otolaryngologists and surgeons are primarily positive, and parents value physician interaction with the child as well as the parents. Negative concerns focus on interpersonal issues, difficulty in explaining treatments, and answering questions and systems issues.
Citation: Espinel AG, Shah RK, Beach MC, Boss EF. What parents say about their child’s surgeon: parent-reported experiences with pediatric surgical physicians. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014:140:397-340.