Table 2

ED Yelp review themes organised by HCAHPS survey domains

HCAHPS domainReview themesRepresentative quotations
Communication with nursesEmpathy; efficiency; attentivenessI was attended to by a nurse named ___. She was nice, friendly and efficient. She tried to not make noise and turn on the light when she was working. I told her about my allergies, and she waited for the doctor to make a decision on whether I needed to stay in the hospital. She even advocated for me with the doctor. She carefully explained what I had gone through, and continued to be thoughtful whenever she checked on me. They gave me TERRIBLE care! I stayed in the ER for 6 hours. Around 6:00, my intravenous stopped working. My partner tried to get nurse ___ to switch it. We waited for around 30 min, and I finally got up just as she came in. Apparently, all nurses were chatting in the hallway while we waited! I became agitated, having been waiting while in pain, and made an angry comment. She snapped back at me.
Communication with doctorsTime spent with patients; clear communication of testing and diagnosesDr ___ was precise and professional like everyone else. He looked through my entire history and reviewed notes on my current pregnancy. My pregnancy made the typical treatments not an option. But he took the time to find the right treatment and made sure to share all of the information with me. He told me about the risks, benefits and made me feel like I was contributing to my own health. I approved all the medications and had a say in what I wanted. The process was amazingly reassuring! Dr ___ answered my questions and gave me a small trial dose of the drug. I felt really safe and confident in his care. It had been 4 h since I got to the hospital, and a doctor still had not seen me. My pain started to get even worse. The nurse told me “the doctors are busy tonight,” which did not make me feel any better. Then it was 5:00 and 6 hours since arriving at the hospital. Finally a doctor came to my room. I don't think that he cared about me. He examined me for a few minutes, pressed on my stomach and left. Didn't ask me any more questions, and didn't make any comments. I was sent off for an X-ray and CT scan. I tried to ask him some questions with no success. I watched the entire staff and was blown away by how unprofessional they were.
Pain controlAcknowledgement of acute pain; rapid treatment of pain; identification of aetiology of painEveryone told me that they were sorry I had so much pain. They said they would work as fast as possible to make me more comfortable, and they did. Almost every time someone came to my room, whether it was for medicine or the doctor, or when I went to get a CT scan, I was amazed at how prompt they were. I got an intravenous with some pain medicine that almost completely took my pain away. From the beginning, they told me it was probably kidney stones. The CT scan confirmed it, and I was discharged feeling better (tired, but pain-free). When I experienced an issue with my spine, I had a terrible ER experience. They thought I was just looking for pain drugs. They never called my regular doctor. I was just treated terribly, even when I was in so much pain that I vomited. They tried sending me home, but I came back 3 h later in an ambulance. Finally, they admitted me rolling their eyes. I got an MRI and went to surgery right away.
Cleanliness of hospital environmentCondition of waiting room and rest room; space between patientsThey checked my friend in right away. There was nobody else in the waiting room. I surveyed the room—it was clean and neat! Everything was unhygienic! There was dirt all over the floor. Some of the other people in the waiting room weren't even wearing shoes. Everyone had to sit together in close quarters in these uncomfortable plastic seats. The sick people were sitting right next to the hurt people.
Quietness of hospital environmentNoise in waiting room; commotion in the ED; frequent staff disruptions[The transporter] turned out the lights and closed the door. His consideration speaks volumes to the care that I received…. I also appreciated that the nurse used as little noise and light as possible. The doctor told me I was being admitted for observation and that I should get some rest. I tried sleeping but was woken up, rudely, by many different people asking me if I was going to be admitted. Then they asked me for the same information I had already given at registration.
Responsiveness of staffNeglect during busy periods; restricted mobility and restroom access[The nurse] was terrific! I pushed the red button whenever I needed something. When I had to go to the bathroom, he came right away to unplug my machines. I was tired of waiting to go to the bathroom. But I couldn't walk around due to my back spasms. When I realised that there was no call button to reach the nurses, I started calling out “Hello!” Finally, the nurse came in, giving me some excuses for her not being around without just saying that she was sorry. She then took out the call button hidden in the closet, gave it to me and left.
Communication about medicinesTime spent explaining medication; patient participation in decision-makingThis was my best experience in an ER, ever!! I was seen right away. The doctors and nurses made me feel comfortable. They answered my questions and gave me options for the different medicines and solutions that could help me. It seemed like they generally cared about me getting better. The nurses came back with some morphine that I did not want. I complained that they were not treating the real problem and were only trying to treat my symptoms. Despite this, she made more failed attempts to start an intravenous. Finally, they gave up and just injected an intravenous medication into my arm.
Discharge informationClarity of communication of treatments and diagnosesMy discharge paperwork had a little note if I needed to get out of work for a few days. (Great!) The visit summary and medications and instructions were typed and printed—that was my first experience with an electronic record system like that! Overall, the ED was an effective, organised, and easy place to visit! When we got home, we realised the nurses forgot to tell us what medication he had taken. I called back and was put on hold three times. Finally, the nurse said all the discharge paperwork had already been filed away. She said it would take too long to find them. I had to beg her to find the records so that we could find out.
  • ED, emergency department; HCAHPS, Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and System.