Single room survey: results

Following my blog last week reflecting on the debate published in the British Medical Journal on “Should hospitals provide all patients with single rooms?”, I asked the same question to Linkedin and Twitter. My informal poll received a total of 37 responses, which is not the largest survey you’ll ever see but probably a meaningful sample size. Overall, 54% of respondents answered ‘Yes’ and 45% answered ‘No’ (Figure).

single room surveyFigure: “Should hospitals provide all patients with single rooms”. Results from 37 respondents in online polls on Linkedin and Twitter.

An interesting feature of the survey was the difference between Linkedin and Twitter, with two third of respondents saying Yes on Linked vs. only 20% on Twitter. I suspect this is explained by the fact that most respondents on Twitter were frontline healthcare workers, who see first-hand the problems caused by placing patients in single rooms when they’d rather be in a bay, or when it compromises their safety.

As with most surveys, the listening to the comments that people make is probably more important than the answers they give, particularly to binary questions such as this one. The poll promoted some useful discussion on Linkedin, with several comments wrestling with the pros and cons of single rooms. I’ve collated a number of Tweets below, which illustrate the view of many frontline staff that a mixture of single rooms and bays is preferable:

  • Healthcare Infection ‏@HealthcareInfec, 4 Dec: “single rooms- a minimum requirement would be a good start & allows flexibility if needed. Certainly >50%.”
  • AllisonClaireBradley ‏@allisoncbradley, 3 Dec: “No for me too. Get so many requests from patients desperate to move out of isolation.”
  • Craig Bradley ‏@CraigBradleyF1, 3 Dec: “NO for so many reasons. We do well with 36%.”
  • Sue Millward @suemillward1, 3 Dec: “Not all patients want to be alone, Some pts need to be watched! So NO.”
  • Gary Thirkell ‏@pollygary 3 Dec: “depends on speciality. Yes for some and no for others. Ability to adapt the room a possibility.”
  • Infection Control ‏@uhcw_inf_con 3 Dec: “No. Isolation has psychological impact on patients & can effect falls risk amongst other things. Need holistic care.”

Clearly, there are some inherent problems with polls, not least the fact that those with strong opinions are more likely to respond and I have no idea how many people saw the survey and decided not to vote. The roughly 50:50 split in opinion on the single room issue is similar to the survey of patients commissioned by the Scottish government, which found that 41% of patients would prefer to be admitted to a single room.

Should hospitals provide single rooms for all patients? Whilst I would definitely prefer a single room if admitted to hospital, there are some strong arguments for a mixture of single rooms and bays in some specialties. So, I agree with the English recommendation of 50% single rooms as a minimum requirement.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Single room survey: results

    • The evidence on attitudes to single rooms is interesting, it’s been a few years since I looked at this, but when I did what I found suggested that on the whole patients liked what they had (i.e. those in single rooms liked it and so did those in bays). In the US virtually all rooms are either private (single) or semi-private (2 beds). It’s also important not to conflate being in a single room with being in isolation, they’re not the same thing and the adverse events associated with isolation are often reported from the US, where the ‘non-isolated’ are also in single rooms…

      Like

  1. Neil, interesting points. The fact that patients tend to be satisfied with where they end up rather suggests that patient satisfaction is determined by their whole package of care, and not their accommodation. Also important to note that adverse effects of isolation are likely to be present in a single or multi-room setting. Probably fair to say though that the adverse events association with isolation precautions will be exacerbated by accommodation in a single room.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s