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Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Stafford bests MWH in its first patient satisfaction survey

Stafford Hospital

Stafford Hospital is younger and smaller than Mary Washington Hospital, yet it could teach its corporate sibling how to please patients.

Stafford thumped Mary Washington on Medicare’s latest survey of patient satisfaction. Medicare published the survey results April 11 and for the first time included Stafford. Stafford Hospital opened in February 2009.  

Of the 10 measures of patient satisfaction that Medicare asks about, Stafford outscored Mary Washington on eight of them. Mary Washington scored better on one measure, and the two hospitals tied on one question.

The doctors and nurses at Stafford were better at communicating with patients, according to the survey results.  In addition, the rooms at Stafford are cleaner and quieter.

More than 70 percent of Stafford’s patients rated it a “9” or a “10” on a 10-point scale, compared to 58 percent for Mary Washington. More than three of four patients said they would recommend Stafford to a family member or friend, compared to 61 percent for Mary Washington’s patients.

The quarterly survey asks a random sample of 300 recently discharged Medicare patients about their hospital care. The latest results are for the period July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010.

The results are available here at the “Hospital Compare” site, which is sponsored by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, which opened last year, is not included in the published results.

The scores for Stafford and Mary Washington are below. The numbers are percentages of patients who answered “always” or “yes” to the survey questions. 

  Stafford MWH
Nurses communicated well 73 70
Doctors communicated well 75 74
Staff responsive 62 55
Pain well controlled 64 65
Staff explained medicines 57 54
Room, bathroom was clean 72 60
Room was quiet at night 54 51
Got discharge information 79 79
Rated hospital a 9 or 10 71 58
Would recommend hospital 76 61