A Call From St Joe’s

I had knee replacement surgery at St Joe’s in December.  I’m the only person I know who still has operations done locally- everyone else seems to be going to St Helena or elsewhere. Me, I’m stubborn.  I live five minutes from St Joe’s and if I’m unhappy with my treatment I want to be able to find my doctor quickly and yell at him/her at length if needed.  So I stayed local.

This morning I got a call from a young man (he sounded young) asking me to “participate in a quality assurance survey regarding my recent experience at St. Joseph’s”.  I explained that my experience wasn’t over. I am still under their care and don’t have my closeout visit for another month. He consulted his instructions and said nothing required the treatment to be OVER before the evaluation. I questioned the value of doing an evaluation of a course of medical treatment that hadn’t been completed but he wanted to press on. Okay,  we’ll go on.

Now he asked:  how would I evaluate the check-in procedure? I had absolutely no recollection of checking in, except that it took place at 5AM which is an ungodly hour. He seemed to accept this.

Next question was: How would I evaluate the treatment I received from the staff?  Which staff, I asked.  Are you asking about the surgeon, the nurses, the anesthesiologist, who?  Which staff?  It just says, Staff, he replied.

At that point I cut my losses and told him I had better things to do than participate in a survey which was totally meaningless.  We all do.

If you get a call like this,- from St Joe’s or elsewhere-  remember it is YOUR time they are helping themselves to. Don’t participate in BS surveys which aren’t gathering useful information,  only being done to cover someone’s ass or to meet some bureaucratic requirement.  The corollary is to speak up or,  better, write a letter when you receive less than your due.  It’s up to us to write effective and fact-based letters of complaint.  Like the one St Joe’s is going  to get if they call me again with that survey.


15 thoughts on “A Call From St Joe’s

  1. We get an e-mail from UCSF asking us to do a patient care survey usually within a day of returning from there. They give you a link and you go there to take the survey. Kind of a generic survey, but they do give you a blank space or two to write comments in if there’s anything you don’t think was covered adequately in the survey.

    • No, don’t worry. I’ve been under the radar lately because of the operation and because my sister was hospitalized in August and died a month ago. It’s taking me awhile to regroup. I’ll be back!

      • Dear Ms. Timmons,
        I am writing in response to your March 12 post on the Redwood Coast Business website titled A Call from St. Joe’s. First, thank you for choosing St. Joseph for your recent surgery. St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial Hospitals, in partnership with our excellent physicians and nurses, are committed to providing our patients with high-quality care right here in Humboldt County.

        We are constantly looking for ways to enhance our patients’ experience and routinely survey our patients to obtain feedback on the care they received. Sometimes this may be at different points within a patient’s treatment plan. The valuable information we receive from our patients allows us to improve our care when necessary.

        Because of your feedback, we are working with our survey partner to determine how we can improve the timing and quality of our surveys. Feedback like yours helps us enhance our processes. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

        I would be happy to meet with you to discuss any other concerns you may have with your care at St. Joseph Hospital, or if you would like to discuss our survey process in more detail. I can be reached at 269-4223.

        David O’Brien, M.D.
        St. Joseph Health – Humboldt County

        • You are more than welcome. I hope you and your survey partner can indeed work together to improve the survey process. It was reassuring to receive your comment at RCB because it shows that your PR department is alert. Thanks for responding.

  2. The problem is most surveys are designed to get the responses they want. They don’t want to know if a particular nurse was a jerk… they just want to add you to the statistic that everyone is having a wonderful time there.

    Looks better in the advertisements.

    In short… a total waste of time (as already pointed out).

    I don’t do surveys unless somebody promises to pay me something for my time. Otherwise they can do their own PR work.

  3. I received a survey via snail mail one week into St Jo’s Home Health Care program. I poo-pooed the questionnaire until I was discharged. After my second week I received another survey which showed up with a note that they had not received the first one and to please fill out & return. I did fill out the forms after my 8 week care which gave me time to tell them my issues, good and not so good. The waiting period gave me time to compile more of the not so good. The six page survey covered all aspects, not just questions in general.
    I do not do surveys over the phone>>>PERIOD. I’m reluctant of any surveys but I caved on this one.
    I wonder if the not so good issues I submitted were round filed?

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