Mercy Medical Center scored higher than the state average in nearly every category in an annual national patient satisfaction survey, earning the hospital more funding from the federal government as a reward for its high scores.
Throughout the year, patients are asked to participate in the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, in which they answer questions about their hospital stay. An outside agency contracted by the federal government selects a random group of patients every year to participate in the survey.
“I think the results validate what we feel and what we’ve been saying: that Mercy is a great place,” said Dr. Aaron Glatt, the hospital’s executive vice president and chief administrative officer. “If you look at the results, 90 percents of the patients that come through say we’re doing a superb or very good job. And that’s something to be proud of.”
Of Mercy’s patients, 63 percent rated the hospital a 9 or 10 on a scale, beating the state average of 61 percent. And 67 percent said they would definitely recommend the hospital to others, higher than the state average of 64 percent.
But Mercy scored lower than the national average in many categories. Mercy patients said 64 percent of the time that their room and bathroom was always clean, while the national average was 73 percent.
“New York is generally tougher than any other place in the country. It ranks about the bottom in the country,” Glatt said. “Not because we give inferior care — I think most people would say New York hospitals are among the top in the world. But New Yorkers are tough people. And in order to get a good score from a New Yorker, you need to go the extra mile.”
Glatt recognized that Mercy’s scores, while good, are not perfect. And to him, that means the hospital has room to improve.
“Until you’re perfect, you’re not satisfied,” he said. “Mercy’s goal is to be absolutely the best possible place for a patient, for care, for compassion, for everything. And if we’re not getting every single person to say we’re doing a great job, then we still have work to do.”
Glatt said that it takes all feedback from patients very seriously and is always trying to improve based upon it.
“If it something that we can do to make a process better, we’ll change it,” he said. “If it’s something that we should have done better, we’ll acknowledge it and we’ll make it better.
“I read every single letter that comes to us and every single complaint that comes to us,” he added. “We talk about every one. We get more positive than negatives.”