Giving opioids to patients in the emergency room (ER) does not affect their satisfaction scores, according a retrospective analysis of medical records and Press Ganey patient satisfaction surveys.
Researchers matched the medical records and completed surveys of 4,749 patients seen in the ERs of two New England hospitals to determine if there is a link between the amount of opioids administered in the ER and Press Ganey scores—one of the most commonly used metrics for measuring patient satisfaction, according to the study authors. They also factored in other variables such as medication order, health insurance status, time of arrival to the ER, total length of stay and patient-reported pain levels. The researchers did not find any association between prescribing opioids and patient satisfaction scores.
“Based on these findings, the administration of opioids in the emergency department setting does not make patients more satisfied,” said study author Kavita Babu, MD, in a press release.
Administering opioids in the ER is a challenge to physicians because of the time constraints, concerns about safety and lack of familiarity with the patient, according to the researchers. However, because compensation is linked to patient satisfaction scores in some hospital settings, some physicians might feel pressured to prescribe opioids to keep these scores up.
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