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All patients are not completely satisfied with their treatment at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, but the hospital scored above average on a recent government survey of patients.

On average, 67 percent of patients surveyed nationwide said they would definitely recommend their hospital to others.

Regarding HUP, 75 percent of patients said they would recommend the hospital.

Other statistics rated doctor-patient communication, cleanliness, pain control and procedures for specific conditions such as heart attacks and pneumonia.

Jayne Hart Chambers, senior vice president of strategic policy for the American Federation of Hospitals, said the hospital survey is useful in understanding how to raise the quality of care, but the survey is not all-inclusive.

"I think the survey is one indicator- - patient care," she said. "I think you have to take the scores cautiously. It's not the kind of thing you make broad conclusions from."

Chambers said small survey samples and voluntary participation were reasons to be somewhat skeptical about the results.

Susan Phillips, chief of staff for the University of Pennsylvania Health System, said that "all quality data is useful," but also cited concerns with the survey.

One issue is that the survey did not take into account the varying conditions of patients responding.

"How sick you are affects your view of the world," she said.

Communication appears to be one issue in which improvement seems necessary, according to the survey.

One-quarter of patients felt their nurses did not always communicate adequately with them.

The figures were similar at HUP, where College junior Yuri Castano was recently treated for a broken ankle.

"I felt that the doctors didn't make a huge effort to explain to me why they were doing what they were doing," he said.

Chambers said that while "hospitals don't tell doctors how to practice medicine," the survey indicates that efforts should be made to improve dialogue between patients and doctors.

"I think communication is always the most important thing," Phillips said. "It's something to always keep in mind."

The data from the survey is available online at

This year, hospitals submitted their information voluntarily. But for future surveys, Medicare payments will be cut by about $100 per patient if hospitals choose not to cooperate, Chambers said.

HUP will comply with the survey in the future, Phillips said.

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