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 10 most common patient complaints, grievances with hospitals


Patients are continually asking hospitals to be treated like people, according to Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Dr. Pronovost worked with Jan Hill, Johns Hopkins’ patient relations director, to compile a “patient wish list,” or the most common pieces of feedback from patient letters or surveys. The list was published in U.S. News & World Report.

The following are the 10 items compiled by Ms. Hill and Dr. Pronovost, which they note should be used as a conversation starter in healthcare:

1. Sleep deprivation from clinicians coming to do tests and draw blood in the middle of the night.

2. Noisy nurses’ stations that can interfere with sleep.

3. Personal belongings being lost.

4. Staff not knocking before entering the room, which can be interpreted as a sign of disrespect.

5. Not keeping whiteboards updated. Updated whiteboards allow patients to know who is caring for them. Patients would also appreciate a notebook where they can keep important information and take notes.

6. Lack of clear communication and not updating the patient or family members if the patient’s condition changes.

7. Messy rooms where surfaces aren’t wiped down, or the bathroom smells.

8. Feeling unengaged in their care or like they are not being listened to.

9. Lack of orientation to the room and hospital. Patients would like to know how to work the television and how to order food.

10. Lack of professionalism from hospital staff, especially when they are on break. “While you may be on your break, you are still a hospital employee and a reflection of the hospital,” the article reads.

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