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Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital Among Top 3% in Statewide Patient Satisfaction Survey


Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits participated in the second statewide survey of patient experience in California hospitals - the Patients’ Evaluation of Performance in California (PEP-C) II, which was publicly released on Wednesday, June 25, 2003. PEP-C II evaluates the experiences of 35,000 randomly chosen, acute-care patients who were hospitalized in California between July 1 and October 31, 2002. The project is the largest scientifically valid survey of patient experience ever publicly released on individual hospitals.

Participating patients were asked their impressions of their hospital stay. The survey evaluated patient experiences in seven categories - respect for patient preferences, coordination of care, information and education, physical comfort, emotional support, involvement of family and friends, and transition to home. The survey included such questions as:

  • -Were you treated with respect and as a partner in the health care process?
  • -How organized and efficient were doctors, nurses and other hospital staff?
  • -Did hospital staff explain treatment choices and test results clearly and completely?
  • -Did hospital staff encourage the involvement of family and friends?
  • -How well did doctors and nurses explain what to expect after you left the hospital?

Every acute care hospital in California was invited to participate in the PEP-C project. Participating hospitals accounted for 47 percent of the state’s 385 general acute care hospitals, a 61 percent increase over the first survey two years ago. Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital was one of 181 California hospitals that volunteered to participate.

Hospitals received a one- to three-star rating based on patients’ evaluations. The consumer report of the findings can help patients make informed choices about their hospital care. It can also help them understand aspects of care that may influence their recovery and outcomes, such as pain management, the level of clarity in communicating about medication, and how prepared patients felt for their return home.

Of the 181 hospitals that participated in the survey, only six hospitals received 3 star ratings (above average) in every area surveyed. Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital was one of those 6 hospitals. This score ranks Howard Memorial Hospital in the top 3% of all hospitals surveyed.

“Participating in PEP-C reflects our commitment to continually improving the quality of our care and providing consumers with the information they need and deserve,” said Kevin R. Erich, MBA, President/CEO of Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital. “By surveying our patients, we learn what we’re doing right and where we should focus our efforts to make our patients’ experiences even better.”

Consumers can view the survey results online at