Aim. This paper reports a study to examine the relationship between patient satisfaction and triage nursing care in order to assist nurses in defining more clearly their roles, and ultimately to improve the quality of care delivered to emergency patients.
Background. Patient satisfaction is considered an important indicator of quality care from the perspective of the consumer and has been widely studied in many settings. However, few studies have examined patient satisfaction with emergency nursing services in the particular area of triage.
Methods. A descriptive, correlational study was conducted in 2001 in one urban acute hospital in Hong Kong using Consumer Emergency Care Satisfaction Scale (CECSS), and patient and nurse demographic data were also collected. Following a power calculation, systematic sampling was carried out, and the final sample consisted of 56 urgent, semi-urgent and non-urgent patients triaged. The response rate was 61%.
Results. The majority of the participants were satisfied with their triage nursing care and teaching. However, difficulties were encountered during the data collection process, resulting in a relatively low response rate. Correlational analyses revealed that patient satisfaction with triage nursing care was statistically significantly correlated with age and the type of nursing intervention received. Older people were more satisfied with the teaching offered by triage nurses and patients who had received specific nursing interventions gave more positive ratings on the teaching subscale of the CECSS. There were no statistically significant relationships between patient satisfaction with triage nursing care and nurse characteristics, including gender, work experiences and educational level.
Conclusions. Patients were generally satisfied with the care provided by the triage nurses. Measuring patient satisfaction with triage nursing care remains a major challenge for health care providers in emergency care settings.