Press Gainey in the ER

Specialties Emergency



Does your hospital go by the Press Gainey survey? And if so, what do you all think about it? Are you for or against its use in the ER?

I have mixed feelings about it. It's frustrating to know that I have bent over backwards to give "very good care" to all of my patients and then to have our manager send out an email telling us that our scores are in the 20th percentile.

I guess it is those only "good" score we get that bring our scores down, but I also know it is those infrequent "bad" experience that really kills us. Course, those come on nights when there is literally standing room only in the ER waiting room and the wait can only be likened to the wandering in the wilderness for 40 years; anyone over a certain age doesn't live to see the promised land, er, the doctor! :chuckle

And I am ashamed to admit that I sometimes have a really hard time caring what someone thinks when this is the tenth time they have been in this month for the same minor complaint and their loudly complaining about everything from the wait to see the doc to the nurses not getting them a cold drink fast enough. In the meantime, I am trying to take care of the acute MI that was just put in my trauma room, plus a patient with N/V/D all day, and the sweet little old lady brought in because of a fall at an ECF.

To add insult to injury, our admitted patients don't even count in our percentile, but count only for the floor they went to.

I guess I just get discouraged about it and have heard many a comment made that Press Gainey isn't a good rating tool for the ER. With the increase we are seeing in (in our ER at least) the number of people who are on medicaid, or have no insurance so they have no choice but to use the ER because we don't require money up front, I'm not so sure that it is fair to "rate" us.

So what are the feelings here about this?

Just wondering,



100 Posts

I do not like it and I have not met anybody who does! I would get on my soapbox but I am on my way to BUNKO! Down with Press-Gainey!


80 Posts

I don't like it either. It seems only the unhappy ones reply. Our scores for the ER are low again this year! I don't feel it should be used in the ER's.


100 Posts

Doesn't it seem odd that we all get the low scores? We had one month where we were in the 95 percentile, the following 2 months we were in the 20th, this month we are at the 80% and we have done nothing different!!!!! It is all a crock! My guess is that the patients that returned the negative responses were mad that the nurses were "eating and laughing at the nurses station, while I had to wait 6 hours to be seen", were the patients that were in the ER when administration bought lunch to celebrate the 95% placing.


7 Posts

I agree, it is NOT applicable in our setting... only negatives reply and notoriously they are the whiners and frequent fliers anyway!!!


16 Posts

Count me in. I am so tired of pressure being placed on us to get better scores but no one addressing the real problems. It is hard to make someone happy that has waited in a crowded waiting room for 3-4 hours while vomiting up their toenails or having the "worst pain" of their life. I do understand their frustration, in fact I share it. I am transferring to the cath lab after working in the ER 17 years.


34 Posts

I seldom post here but reading all of your thoughts on PG reminded me how much I disliked this measurement tool.

I have used Press Gainey both as staff and manager of a very busy east coast ED.

We saw ~65,000pts/yr from the NY/Jersy/PA tristate area.

I was "educated" on it's use as a tool to improve pt satisfaction.

I personally called and spoke with many NM's around the country about PG and it's use as a "customer satisfaction survey tool" to better understand how and what it could do to help the staff.

Believe me when I say that this survey can be anything you want it to be. It is manipulated to say what you want it to. If you learn how to use it to your advantage it's better than a trained pony. No pony chow to buy and alot less poop to content with.

The survey questions are tailored to your individual unit by your management team to arrive at a desired outcome. Staff are given the standard song and dance about customer satisfaction and unit of excellence and improved pt outcomes but in reality, it is a behavior modification tool used to make staff comply with the outcomes desired by management. As scores go up, the tool is tweaked for even better results.

Courtesy, politeness, smiles, helpfulness, cheerfulness, offering to talk to pt's/families, are what the PG is designed to train you to do. It has no bearing what so ever on clinical care.

If you act like a good waitress at a Friendly's restaurant, then you will get excellent PG scores. It is all about being a meeter and a greeter with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Now, I know what it's like to be out of stretchers, supplies, staff and up to my eyeballs in pee ( cause i haven't gone in 8 hrs) when the 4th rig backs into the bay with the other 3 staring at you. I don't feel like singing or smiling.

The survey's are randomly sent to pt's after they have been seen, treated and released from your unit. Doesn't matter if they go home, transfer or get admitted. Some of your surveys are filled out by pt's on M/S units and their response to the questions are directly influenced by how nice those angelic nurses are as compared to those crazed, nasty, uncaring busy ER RN's were (who stuck me 3 TIMES with a needle).

Surveys may be sent to all jerks one month then all nice folks the next. Since it is random, there is no way to predict how your monthly scores will change. But you will be "encouraged" to "improve" your scores by virture of random analysis based on the how the average public citizen understands and views nurses. You have to "work" harder each month to make people happy until you reach a threshold and public perception changes in your favor. We all know that the public perception of nursing is not the reality of what we do. So, smile and be the classical public image of a nurse and your scores will go up.

Do any of your ED's share the MD's scores with the RN's ?

You can bet your little white hat that the doc's review yours.

It's not a crock JJFROG, it measures peoples perception of what THEY think their experience was like in the unit.

Unfortunately, those same people don't know a thrombolitic from a pigs behind and as we all know, "Your convenience is my emergency". :kiss


106 Posts

Surveys on customer service in an ER is stupid anyways. The ER is there to save lives not hand out donuts and coffee and wait on people like hand slaves. Sounds too close to Wal-mart if you ask me. People are patients in an ER not customers!!!


210 Posts

I am against it. The ones who tend to reply are the ones who come to the ED with non-urgent problems who cannot understand why the 14 year old in cardiac arrest is more emergent than getting them an extra pillow. The survey does not identify the circumstances surrounding the reason why an ankle sprain had to wait 4 hours for an x-ray. Like that there is a shortage of nurses and that there are pts there who are significantly sicker than they are. :( :( :(


4 Posts

I've worked on travel assignment that utilized this. It doesn't reflect the truth overall. I'm a traveling RN/ into photography on a big scale. Contact if you are able. Robert


4 Posts

With Press Ganey have you ever heard of anything as ridiculous as handing out THANK YOU CARDS for visiting the ER. We have to include all of our names on this card so that when they complain about you they can use your name(s).

The ER is not a drive thru. A pt. can not just give there s&s and expect a DX in 15 minutes from the time they arrive to discharge.


13 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

Replied to earlire thread also. Press Gainey is a way of measuring what patients feel about hteir care. Please have a rep speak with you. 30 minutes should help you understand them. I was amazed that less than 5% of our patients rated our nurses low. Most were very nice. Used correctly they do help improve patient care. With seven children (oldest in college/youngest 6 y/o) I have dealt with some pretty poor experiences in ER and some wonderful ones. I as a pt have the right to some kind treatment from staff and so do my patients. Lets get our head up and realize how we can help a frustrated parent, child or patient feel better by simply being freaking human. Enough! Sorry! Vented a moment! Where's my ativan?

I became involved with PG after considering killing the rep. They are not scary but simply misunderstood. I bet your patients say a lot of nice things. Check it out. Don't focus on the


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