Amplion Study Reveals Patients, Advocates Have Different Expectations, Experiences During Hospital Stays

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Loved Ones Set Higher Bar for Hospitals, Giving Nursing Staffs Lower Marks for Responsiveness, Communication, Care Coordination

Patients may not be the toughest customer in American hospitals. In a new study by Amplion, patient advocates were found to be much more critical of hospital performance than patients themselves. Loved ones were less likely to say that nurses did a good job of communicating and coordinating care, responding quickly to patient needs and regularly checking in on them. While patients were more likely to report feeling calm, content and secure, loved ones were more likely to feel anxious, afraid and frustrated during their stay.

Amplion, in partnership with Catalyst Healthcare Research, surveyed 1,002 Americans about their experiences with recent hospital stays. In total, the study polled 502 patients and 500 loved ones who accompanied friends or family members during an overnight hospital stay within the past year. The goal of this research was to understand and document patients’ and loved ones’ issues around communication with hospital staff, particularly nursing staff responsiveness to patient calls and requests.

According to the survey, the majority of patients (60%) rely on an advocate to support them during their hospital stay. This means hospitals should be seriously considering not only patient satisfaction, but also that of loved ones, as they evaluate their overall performance.

“The voice of the patient advocate is one that can’t be ignored,” said Tom Stephenson, President and CEO of Amplion. “Our study shows that advocates are taking their jobs seriously. They are more likely than patients to detect deficiencies in rounding, response times and coordination of care. As a result, they are raising the bar on what hospitals need to do to deliver highly satisfactory experiences.”

When considering their most recent experience, 63% of patients were highly likely to recommend the hospital versus only 46% of loved ones. The study also found competing expectations between patients and their advocates. When asked to rank their top priorities for what hospitals need to improve upon, patients said quieter rooms and hallways, while their loved ones were most concerned about improving responsiveness to patient needs.

Despite the differences, there was common ground. The vast majority of both patients (95%) and loved ones (91%) said that how the nursing staff handled communication and care coordination had a significant impact on their overall experience. Patients and loved ones also agreed on the importance of receiving prompt responses when pushing their call buttons. Both groups were twice as likely to recommend a hospital if they reported the staff always responded quickly, versus those who had a mixed experience with call button response speed.

“At the end of the day, patients and their loved ones want the same thing,” Stephenson said. “They want their needs met in a timely and high-quality fashion. Hospitals need the proper systems in place to ensure care is delivered consistently and to be able to demonstrate that both to patients and their loved ones.”

About The Study
This study was conducted as an online survey plus an online focus group during the month of March, 2016. Participants in the study were required to have at least one overnight stay in a US hospital in the past 12 months. It was administered by Catalyst Healthcare Research, a national marketing research firm that specializes in providing insights to healthcare providers, payers, and suppliers.

About Amplion
Amplion is building a better future for patient care. We combine capabilities in clinical workflow optimization, advanced patient communications technology and in-depth analytics to help organizations make data-driven decisions and create accountability within clinical teams. We close care loops and dramatically improve clinical and financial performance as well as patient and clinician experience. Safer patients. Smarter care. Assured. Learn more at

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Katherine Herring