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Hospital Focus Misdirected Toward Parents, Survey Suggests

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, September 28, 2011

"They came up with other things that had more to do with the parent than the child. They even had trouble putting themselves in their children's place with the answer. Children mention negative things about their nurses causing them pain. Parents never mention pain."

The study is the first to specifically target hospitalized children and adolescents on the quality of their nursing care. It is also the first to evaluate children's perceptions of nurses' behavior for evidence of any disparities across demographic groups, Ryan-Wenger says.

The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative. It will be published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Nursing Care Quality and is available now online.

Ryan-Wegner says she was not able to find patient questionnaires from pediatric hospital that were written for the patient rather than the parents.

"They refer to 'your child' and 'does the hospital staff make you feel comfortable. Did the staff inform you about your child's progress?' Stuff like that," Ryan-Wegner says. "I'm trying to promote the idea that children need to be asked about the quality of their care while they are receiving it, not two weeks later when their parents get a survey in the mail."

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2 comments on "Hospital Focus Misdirected Toward Parents, Survey Suggests"


Heidi Lee Sinclair, MD, MPH (9/30/2011 at 12:38 PM)
when my son was in the NICU it made me mad that the Neonatologist never met with me until the day my son was being discharged (day 20) never made eye-contact and kept calling me "mom" and didn't call my baby by name either ... i make it a point to always address patient and parent BY NAME - and ask to make sure I have the name right - what they preferred to be called ... i think this is basic respect

Scott (9/28/2011 at 9:51 AM)
Interesting article, I can say that the issue transcends into many care specialties. While I do not work in peds, I can say that a similar event occurs from time to time in Long Term Care. While we do speak of "patient" satisfaciton, some forget that the patient is still there despite their physical and or mental deterioration. Sometimes too the tail (family) wags the dog. Othertimes discussions occur to the "family" about the patient, even when the patient is right there. I know this happens in many areas of healthcare. Also, in LTC it is often asked was the family notified and the answer is always "yes" updates but some forget to update resident who is the one being impacted most.