First Author: V.Chaudhary CANADA
Co Author(s): B. Chen C. McLaughlin S. Mullen L. Donaldson L. Zhao N. Sivachandran
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Suspected retinal complications comprise a significant proportion of referrals to on-call ophthalmology services. The thought of experiencing vision loss while waiting to be seen by an ophthalmologist can be a freighting experience for patients. Herein, we sought to determine the extent to which providing patients with expected wait-times a priori influenced satisfaction with on-call, emergent ophthalmology care.
Single-centred, randomized control trial
English speaking patients 18 years or older referred for an emergency next-day ophthalmology on-call consultation were recruited. The control group received pre-appointment information about the location and time of their visit while the intervention group was given additional information regarding anticipated wait-times for their appointment. The primary outcome measure was patient wait-times satisfaction captured by the Modified Judgements of Hospital Quality Questionnaire. Satisfaction scores were compared across study groups using a Mann-Whitney U test. As secondary study outcomes, we sought to determine patient satisfaction with the intervention material using a Fischer exact test and the effect wait-time, age, sex, education, mobility, and number of healthcare providers seen had on satisfaction scores using logistic regression analysis.
A total of 50 patients agreed to participate in the study. Baseline demographics were comparable between the two groups. The average wait-time for the intervention group was 22.8 ± 28.6 minutes and 18.3 ± 18.1 minutes for the control group. Median patent satisfaction scores were 'very good' (4/5) and between “very good” and “excellent”(4.5/5) in the intervention and control groups respectively. There was no difference in patient satisfaction between the control and intervention groups (Mann-Whitney U= 297.00, p=0.964). Regression analysis demonstrated that wait-times influenced patient satisfaction (OR=0.919, CI95 0.864 to 0.978, p=0.008). For every minute more waiting to see a doctor, the likelihood that a patient would give a satisfaction score in the top 50th percentile (excellent) was 0.919 meaning that increased wait time decreased likelihood of reporting excellent patient satisfaction.
Our study found that 85.7% of survey respondents scored their satisfaction with wait times as very good or excellent. There was no statistical difference in patient satisfaction between the intervention and control groups. Provision of additional information regarding anticipated wait-times to patients in an emergency on-call clinic did not influence patient satisfaction.