Patient satisfaction with wait times at an emergency ophthalmology on-call service
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OBJECTIVE: To assess patient satisfaction with emergency ophthalmology care and determine the effect provision of anticipated appointment wait time has on scores. DESIGN: Single-centre, randomized control trial. PARTICIPANTS: Fifty patients triaged at the Hamilton Regional Eye Institute (HREI) from November 2015 to July 2016. METHODS: Fifty patients triaged for next-day appointments at the HREI were randomly assigned to receive standard-of-care preappointment information or standard-of-care information in addition to an estimated appointment wait time. Patient satisfaction with care was assessed postvisit using the modified Judgements of Hospital Quality Questionnaire (JHQQ). In determining how informing patients of typical wait times influenced satisfaction, the Mann-Whitney U test was performed. As secondary study outcomes, we sought to determine patient satisfaction with the intervention material using the Fisher exact test and the effect that wait time, age, sex, education, mobility, and number of health care providers seen had on satisfaction scores using logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: The median JHQQ response was "very good" (4/5) and between "very good" and "excellent" (4.5/5) in the intervention and control arms, respectively. There was no difference in patient satisfaction between the cohorts (Mann-Whitney U = 297.00, p = 0.964). Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that wait times influenced patient satisfaction (OR = 0.919, 95% CI 0.864-0.978, p = 0.008). Of the intervention arm patients, 92.0% (N = 23) found the preappointment information useful, whereas only 12.5% (N = 3) of the control cohort patients noted the same (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Provision of anticipated wait time information to patients in an emergency on-call ophthalmology clinic did not influence satisfaction with care as captured by the JHQQ.
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