Document Type

DNP Project

Publication Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Faculty Advisor

Susan Penque, Ph.D., ANP-BC, NE-BC

Practice Mentor

Irene Bihl, DNP, MBA, APRN


Background: The uninsured, underinsured, and underserved populations in the US are impacted by health disparities and have unique experiences with healthcare. Yet, settings which serve these populations – the “safety net”- are not adequately supported to gather patient experience data. In Connecticut, Fairfield County has a higher percentage of uninsured people than the overall state. Additionally, this population has demonstrated higher frequency of emergency department utilization than the overall population. Therefore, processes to measure the barriers to accessing quality care and patient experience and satisfaction with care are needed in safety net clinics to promote elimination of health disparities and to promote health equity.

Objective: The aim of this project was to implement a tool and process for measuring patient satisfaction and self-reported emergency utilization at a free community based clinic in Bridgeport CT.

Intervention/Methods: The Model for Improvement framework was used to guide implementation of a process and tool to measure patient satisfaction. The satisfaction tool was developed and approved for use by the internal quality improvement committee at the clinic and staff /volunteers were trained to use the tool. Surveys were administered and collected from patients attending the clinic over a 16 week period.

Results: The staff demonstrated compliance with the process for administering and collecting patient satisfaction surveys. Patients were satisfied with the care received at the community-based clinic. Waiting times to get appointments and the waiting times between appointment time and being seen by the provider were areas in which patients were less satisfied. Additionally, the population seen at the clinic had an overall lower rating of understanding their medication regimens. There was an overall decrease in percentage of patients who reported utilization of the emergency room over the project period.

Conclusions: Implementation of the process and tool to measure patient satisfaction was successful. Feedback from the survey identified areas that the clinic can improve to provide more patient centered care. Additionally, the survey provided insight to the reasoning behind frequent emergency use in the population served which will help the clinic decrease barriers to accessing care and improve patient retention.


A DNP project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice, Sacred Heart University Davis & Henley College of Nursing.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.



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