Patient experience with help for pain

Percentage of patients who reported that doctors and nurses tried to help reduce their pain. (see data dictionary)

What do you see?

  • Are there any trends over time at the emergency department(s) where you work or would be most likely to visit?
  • Are there differences in patient experiences between hospitals of the same type (e.g., Large Urban)?

Whether you’re a patient, provider, or health system administrator, thinking about why these differences might exist can start conversations and lead to solutions for improved quality of healthcare.

Understanding “patients’ experiences with help for pain”

Surveying patients about their experiences in the emergency department provides a voice for patients about the quality of their care.

The HQCA asked emergency department patients:

  • During this emergency department visit, did the doctors and nurses try to help reduce your pain? “Yes, definitely”, ”yes, somewhat”, or “no”?

The responses “yes, definitely” or “yes, somewhat” are included in the chart above.

Many patients seeking emergency care are in pain. Why is it important to healthcare quality if patients’ pain is managed? If patients are in pain, they are likely to have a poor experience. Improving patients’ experience is very important to improving the healthcare system overall. Whether or not the care patients receive is respectful and responsive to their needs and expectations is an important part of healthcare quality.

If pain is managed, patients’ total length of stay in the emergency department may be more tolerable and their overall experience will be more favourable.

Understanding the HQCA’s  emergency department patient experience survey

Every two weeks, the HQCA conducts a telephone survey with a random sample of patients from each of the 16 emergency departments reported on this website. The patient input collected is then analyzed by the HQCA and the results of the question above, and six others, are uploaded to this website every quarter (three months). See our methodology page to learn more about the survey methodology.
Results from April to July 2016 are not reported for the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre due to the forest fire that affected Fort McMurray and forced the closure of the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre.

Results for November 2019 to July 2020 are not available for the University of Alberta Hospital and the Stollery Children’s Hospital.

The Health Quality Council of Alberta uses the Alberta Quality Matrix for Health as a way of organizing information and thinking around the complexity of the healthcare system. This measure can be used as input to assess the emergency department’s performance in these dimensions of quality:


Dimensions of Quality

  • Acceptability 
  • Accessibility 
  • Appropriateness 
  • Effectiveness 
  • Efficiency 
  • Safety