Health Services survey portrays patient satisfaction at Penn State

May 02, 2008

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State's University Health Services (UHS) is always looking for ways to improve its service to students, and student feedback has resulted in new services and a new Student Health Center.

In addition to offering comment cards to seek responses from clients, clinical staff members survey clients each year on their level of satisfaction. University Health Services also uses online surveys, informal “intercept” interviews and Penn State Pulse surveys to shed light on how their services can improve. When feasible, staff make changes based on these patient suggestions.

The annual UHS “Patient Satisfaction Survey” solicits student feedback on areas such as wait time, courtesy, promptness and overall satisfaction. This year’s Patient Satisfaction Survey found that 98 percent of students surveyed would return to UHS for their health-care needs. The overall level of satisfaction with services was 4.56 (on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being very unsatisfied and 5 being very satisfied). Eighty-nine percent of students said they waited 20 minutes or less to be seen for their appointments.

Penn State Pulse was initiated in spring 1995 by Penn State's Division of Student Affairs to gather feedback on student issues, expectations, satisfaction and usage of the different health services offered (taken from the Pulse Web site at Using Pulse surveys, UHS collects student feedback on a number of issues, including health-related behaviors such as smoking and drinking.

Every four years UHS also collects information through Pulse related to services offered. The most recent such Pulse survey, completed in November 2007 in anticipation of the new Student Health Center, included questions regarding additional services and hours of operation. Students who responded to the survey indicated a strong interest in services related to stress management, dermatology and massage, among others. 

Collitt said there weren't any major surprises in the results of the 2007 survey. “Students are generally satisfied with the care they receive at UHS (85 percent)," she said. "Additionally, the reasons students gave for not using UHS were “no need for services” (80percent) and a “preference for a family physician at home” (45 percent).

University Health Services staff members also look forward to the opportunities a new facility will present to improve customer service. “The new Student Health Center will allow our staff to provide quality care in a new, state-of-the art facility,” Collitt said.


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009