There are few experiences as ubiquitous to patients as the experience of waiting. It is an occurrence that transcends diagnosis, is common to all demographics, and is shared across the continuum of care. The experience can be frustrating and full of ambiguity for patients and their families. Wait time and delays can lead to patients sensing a loss of control and magnify the feelings of anxiety they may already be suffering. In an effort to improve patient experience, a framework was developed to examine patient satisfaction as a function of expectations, perceptions, and reality. The process domain focused on the objective reality of the pre-surgical lead times; while the expectation and perception domains focused on the family understanding of the timeliness of the pre-surgical process prior to, and directly following the experience. Guided by this framework, data was collected and analyzed at surgical units throughout the Texas Children’s Hospital system. Insights gained from this analysis identified distinct needs where focused improvement approaches could be implemented. Throughout this paper, we will provide insight into the framework developed, case studies illustrating its effectiveness and insights as to how it can be applied at any healthcare organization to improve patient satisfaction.

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