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Emergency Medicine International
Volume 2013, Article ID 213263, 5 pages
Research Article

Image and Imaging an Emergency Department: Expense and Benefit of Different Quality Assessment Methods

1Department of General Internal Medicine, Bern University Hospital, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
2Emergency Department, Bern University Hospital, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
3Health Care Research Institute AG, Josefstraße 92, 8005 Zurich, Switzerland

Received 1 June 2013; Accepted 3 July 2013

Academic Editor: Tobias Lindner

Copyright © 2013 Carmen Andrea Pfortmueller et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. In this era of high-tech medicine, it is becoming increasingly important to assess patient satisfaction. There are several methods to do so, but these differ greatly in terms of cost, time, and labour and external validity. The aim of this study is to describe and compare the structure and implementation of different methods to assess the satisfaction of patients in an emergency department. Methods. The structure and implementation of the different methods to assess patient satisfaction were evaluated on the basis of a 90-minute standardised interview. Results. We identified a total of six different methods in six different hospitals. The average number of patients assessed was 5012, with a range from 230 (M5) to 20 000 patients (M2). In four methods (M1, M3, M5, and M6), the questionnaire was composed by a specialised external institute. In two methods, the questionnaire was created by the hospital itself (M2, M4).The median response rate was 58.4% (range 9–97.8%). With a reminder, the response rate increased by 60% (M3). Conclusion. The ideal method to assess patient satisfaction in the emergency department setting is to use a patient-based, in-emergency department-based assessment of patient satisfaction, planned and guided by expert personnel.