Results reveal few significant changes compared to 2010 and identify the
major factors influencing the overall satisfaction rating
CALGARY, Jan. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - Today the Health Quality Council of
Alberta (HQCA) released the results of its biennial survey of
Albertans' satisfaction and experience with healthcare services.
Overall, 64% of Albertans were satisfied with healthcare services,
compared to 62% in 2010. Most results in the 2012 survey remain
relatively unchanged compared to the 2010 survey.
The survey of 4,803 Albertans consists of more than 100 questions
garnering respondents' general perceptions of healthcare and actual
healthcare experiences, as well as satisfaction with specific health
The factors that most influence Albertans' overall satisfaction, in
order of influence, are:
ease of access to healthcare services (51% rated access as easy)
quality of healthcare services (77% rated quality as good or excellent)
how well all healthcare professionals coordinate their efforts to serve
patient needs (49% rated coordination as very good or excellent)
handling of serious complaints (20% are satisfied with complaints
satisfaction with emergency department services (59% are satisfied with
emergency department services)
satisfaction with family doctor services (84% are satisfied with family
satisfaction with specialist services (80% are satisfied with specialist
"It is important to examine the factors that influence Albertans'
satisfaction so that health policy makers and health service providers
can take into consideration what Albertans are saying about their
healthcare experiences," says Dr. John Cowell, Chief Executive Officer,
HQCA. "Coordination of care, for example, is one of the top three most
influential factors driving overall satisfaction, and yet we have not
seen improvements in this area in any of the six surveys we have
conducted since 2003."
Less than 50% of respondents in 2012 rated how well healthcare
professionals coordinated their efforts to serve their needs as very
good or excellent. Information in a recent Health Council of Canada
(HCC) report from a survey of primary care physicians complements the
HQCA findings. For example, the report stated that only 13% of Alberta
primary care physicians receive information for continued management of
their patients within 48 hours of hospital discharge.
Information from the HCC report in relation to access to healthcare
services also mirrored the HQCA's patient experience results. The
report stated that only 41% of primary care physicians in Alberta say
they have an arrangement for their patients to see a physician or nurse
when the practice is closed, other than a hospital or emergency
"In the almost 10-year history the HQCA has been conducting this
biennial survey, we have seen a change from 52% to 64% in how Albertans
rate their satisfaction with healthcare services," adds Dr. Cowell. "It
is worthy to note that at the same time, while the population has grown
22%, adjusted public health expenditures per person in Alberta,
reported by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, have
increased from $3,994 per capita in 2003 to a forecast of $6,570 per
capita in 2011 - a 64% increase."
Other key findings:
Respondents in Alberta Health Services' North zone were significantly
less likely to be satisfied with healthcare services (56%) as compared
to the overall rating for Alberta (64%).
When asked about experiences of unexpected harm, 11% of respondents
reported that they or an immediate family member experienced harm while
receiving healthcare sometime in the past year, which is significantly
more than 2010 (9%), but less than 2003, 2004, and 2006.
28% of Albertans have never had a flu shot. The North zone has
significantly more respondents who have never had a flu shot (38%)
compared to Edmonton (27%), Central (31%), Calgary (26%) and South
(26%) zones. The most common reason respondents reported they did not
have the flu shot in the past year is because they did not think it was
necessary (47%), followed by they had not gotten around to it (21%).
Results were analyzed by Albertans' self-reported health status to
compare the experience of those categorized as less healthy to those
categorized as to be in good health. The respondents' state of health
greatly influenced how they rated their experience. For example,
Albertans in good health were most likely to be satisfied with
healthcare services received (71%), and respondents considered the
least healthy were less likely to be satisfied (56%) - both ratings
differed significantly from the overall satisfaction rating of 64%.
Satisfaction and Experience with Healthcare Services: A Survey of
Albertans 2012 measured responses from 4,803 Albertans who were 18 years of age and
older, and had a land-line telephone. To ensure respondents were
representative of Albertans, quotas were set for age and gender groups
within each of the five Alberta Health Services' zones. Some questions
were limited to only the respondents who had an experience with the
healthcare system in the previous 12 months. Survey weights were used
to make the results more representative of the population. Where
possible, the HQCA's independent survey compares the 2012 results with
those from 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004 and 2003.
The 2012 survey is of interest because it can be compared against
benchmark results from 2010, which was the first year the HQCA measured
satisfaction and experience since the formation of Alberta Health
The technical report and a summary of the findings are available at www.hqca.ca.
SOURCE: Health Quality Council of Alberta
For further information:
Lisa Brake, Communications Lead
403.297.4091 Cell 403.850.5067