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Consistent progress

State satisfaction surveys show improvement but still lag the national average

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Print this page by Robert Powell
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Virginia Hospital Center had the highest percentage
of patients giving it a top score.
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Hospital patient satisfaction rates have climbed continuously in Virginia during the past five years, but they still remain a step behind the national average.

The average percentage of patients giving a Virginia hospital a top ranking on a national survey has risen from 64 percent in 2009 to 69 percent in 2013, the latest year for which information is available. At the same time, the national average also has increased from 66 percent to 71 percent.

The survey is the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, which is funded by two federal agencies, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The latest survey information was collected from January through December 2013.

The survey results were provided by Richmond-based Virginia Health Information. VHI also provided information about Virginia hospitals with the highest volume of patients discharged under various types of treatments, or service lines.
In the satisfaction survey, patients are asked to give hospitals an overall rating, with the highest rating being a score of 9 or 10 and the lowest being a score of 6 or lower.  Patients also are asked whether they would recommend the hospital to friends or family. The possible answers there are: “Yes, Definitely,” “Yes, Probably” and “No.”

Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, which has consistently scored well in this survey, had the highest percentage of patients giving it a top score, 83 percent. Eighty-five percent of patients responding to the survey also said they would definitely recommend the hospital to others.

Other hospitals scoring well on the survey included Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Carilion New River Valley/St. Albans, Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach and Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center. Each facility had approval rates of more than 80 percent on some part of the survey.

At Martha Jefferson, 80 percent of patients gave it a top overall score while 83 percent said they would recommend the hospital to family or friends.

At Carilion New River Valley, 82 percent of patients said they would recommend the hospital to others. At Sentara Princess Anne, 83 percent would make that recommendation, while the number was 81 percent at the Williamsburg hospital.

In the service line section following the satisfaction survey results, charts break down the number of patients discharged at each hospital for a particular treatment. The charts show what that number represents as a percentage of a region’s total patient volume for that service.

More service line charts are available at and VHI’s website, The website also provides additional information on hospitals, physicians, health insurance, HMOs and nursing facilities.

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