About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
Patients rate MWH below state and national averages
Two-thirds of its patients would recommend Mary Washington Hospital, yet those numbers are below average on the latest patient-satisfaction survey from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The survey results were published this month and are available now on the Virginia Health Information web site.
The survey is one of the few that is based on what patients say about their hospital experiences, things like how clean their rooms were and how well the nurses and doctors communicated with them.
Mary Washington scored below the Virginia and national averages on all 10 questions asked. For example, when CMS surveyors asked patients if they would recommend Mary Washington to family and friends, 59 percent answered, “Yes, definitely.” Statewide, the average for that question was 66 percent, and nationally the average was 68 percent.
Mary Washington also rated below average when patients were asked about the cleanliness and quiet of their rooms, the control of their pain, and what they were supposed to do during their recovery at home. The hospital’s overall rating, as judged by patients, was also below the averages.
Kathleen Allenbaugh, spokeswoman for Mary Washington, said this morning, “Our goal is to provide high-quality care, and we’re not pleased with where we are with patient satisfaction, and we are working diligently to make improvements.”
In the last year, the hospital has hired a new company to provide hospitalist services, Allenbaugh said. It also uses patient comments in its staff training programs, and it looks at other hospitals nationwide to see if their “best practices” can be adopted at Mary Washington.
“We try to learn from the successes of others,” she said.
CMS asked at least 300 patients about their experiences at Mary Washington. The results cover the period October 2008 through September 2009.
VHI is a nonprofit agency charged with collecting statewide health data. Its web site is here. Click on the Hospital Patient Satisfaction section on the main page.
Stafford Hospital and the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center were too new to be included in this survey.