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09/28/2010

Medstar Launches Community Defibrillator Program

While Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies across the country are struggling to maintain clinical care and quality service in the face of falling insurance payments and rising costs, ambulance patients are becoming more sensitive to satisfaction issues such as privacy, involvement in care, and compassionate interaction with patients and family.  In the midst of these conflicting demands, one local ambulance company is not only increasing its focus on the patient satisfaction, it’s leading a national satisfaction survey and setting new records for patient feedback.

 

Medstar Ambulance, a non-profit ambulance company serving Macomb and Wayne Counties, announced Tuesday that it led the national “EMS Survey Team” patient satisfaction survey for the month of February.  EMS Survey Team provides the only nationwide paper response patient satisfaction survey for EMS providers.  The company surveys patients of public, private, and hospital based agencies in several states.

 

Medstar has participated in the national survey since 2004, and has recently committed to surveying 100% of the emergency patients it serves.  “There are only a few companies in the national survey group that survey 100%,” according to Kolby Miller, Medstar CEO.  “We decided that if the survey data and written responses were truly going to be valuable to our organization, we should try to get as many as we can.  The national database reflects a patient population of nearly 1 million annual transports, so if we wanted our data to be anywhere near meaningful, we needed as much as possible.”

 

In addition to having the highest overall satisfaction rating in the national survey, Medstar’s February score set a new record for both the Michigan cohort and the national survey group.   “Leading the national group is not new to Medstar,” said Susan Burkhardt, Medstar’s Customer Service Manager. “What we are most proud of is the level of satisfaction expressed by our patients for the services provided by our team.  Setting a new record for the national benchmark really shows the dedication of Medstar personnel to delivering the best care and service available.”

 

Miller says that Medstar monitors several internal data points, such as vehicle safety, employee clinical skill performance, response and scene times, and other quality indicators, but the feedback from the patients is the most important to the company, as well as the individuals who provide the care.  “We measure a lot of data, however, the vast majority of our key performance monitoring and improvement is designed to enhance the patient experience.  Receiving such a high score, especially leading a nationally benchmarked survey, is a great indication that our efforts are recognized where it matters most … that being the patient.”

 

Miller said that in 2009, the company began giving Patient Satisfaction Awards to the Paramedics and EMTs who led the survey results each quarter.  “Our personnel have always been committed to providing great clinical care.  By expanding the value of the patient satisfaction data and providing individual recognition to the personnel who receive the highest ratings, I think that we have raised the level of awareness and commitment for most of our personnel.” 

 

“The level of patient satisfaction is a reflection on people in every department of Medstar,” Burkhardt said.  “While many think of the ambulance crews first, our company is made up of many talented and dedicated individuals in dispatch, support, billing, and fleet services, and every one of those departments contributes a piece to the satisfaction and trust that our patients place in Medstar.”

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