Thursday, June 21, 2007

Always look on the bright side

Complaints about "grumpy staff" and filthy hospital rooms in Saskatoon have doubled over the past year. A hospital official is turning her frown upside down.

"It makes me happy, actually, because we want to know what's going on in terms of situations where we're not meeting people's expectations, or not delivering the service we should, or when there's been a misinterpretation of what we've intended, because then we can clarify that," says Jean Morrison, vice-president of performance excellence and chief nursing officer for the health region.

According to the report, the largest area of concern was how health care services were delivered to patients, making up 37 per cent of complaints. Problems with access to service cheesed off 32 per cent of clients who complained, and nine per cent griped about poor communication. The rate of concerns per 1,000 patients quadrupled in surgery and tripled in medicine.

Complaints about rehabilitation services also spiked from two complaints per 1,000 patients to nearly 36 gripes per 1,000 patients.

I don't know if "cheesed off" would adequately describe my disposition if my son was in a filthy hospital room, but I'm sure hospital staff would see my protests as little more than "griping."

gripe (grīp) v. griped, grip·ing, gripes v. intr.
1. Informal To complain naggingly or petulantly; grumble.
2. To have sharp pains in the bowels.

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