Trauma patients: I can't get no (patient) satisfaction?

Karalyn Bentley-Kumar, Theresa Jackson, Danny Holland, Brian LeBlanc, Vaidehi Agrawal, Michael S. Truitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides financial incentives to hospitals based on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) patient satisfaction survey. This data is made publicly available on their website to be utilized by patients and insurers. Hospitals are profoundly interested in identifying patient populations that negatively contribute to overall patient satisfaction scores. Hospitals consider trauma patients “high risk” from a HCAHPS perspective, but there is no data to inform this opinion. The purpose of this study is to evaluate trauma patient satisfaction scores and their impact on overall patient satisfaction. Methods Three different analyses were performed. Group 1 was composed of ALL patients admitted to our hospital over a 7-month period who were administered a validated patient satisfaction survey by a 3rd party and compared patient satisfaction of trauma vs. non-trauma patients (ALL). Group 2 compared admitted patients with a specific ICD-9 procedure code to non-trauma patients who underwent a procedure with the same ICD-9 code (ICD). Group 3 examines patient satisfaction between three Level I Trauma Centers within our geographic area (TC). Patient satisfaction data of trauma vs non-trauma patients (ALL), those with a specific ICD-9 procedure code (ICD), and the 3 Level I Trauma Centers in our area (TC) were analyzed with the appropriate statistical test. Results In the ALL group, no difference in satisfaction was noted in 18/21 questions for trauma patients when compared to non-trauma patients at our hospital. In the ICD group, 57 ICD-9 procedure codes were analyzed. Of these, only patients who required spinal fusion secondary to trauma reported lower overall patient satisfaction. No meaningful difference was found in HCAHPS associated satisfaction between the Level I Trauma Centers in our area (TC). Conclusion In contrast to commonly held opinion, trauma patients do not negatively contribute to overall patient satisfaction in our facility. Certain injuries may offer opportunities for improvement and efforts around improved physician-patient communication may be warranted. In the era of public reporting and financial penalties, surgeons should embrace patient satisfaction as it may be vital to the survival of the trauma center.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1256-1260
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Healthcare costs
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Surgery
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Trauma patients: I can't get no (patient) satisfaction?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this