The satisfaction of companion animal owners after hospitalization of their pet on the Intensive Care Unit of the Utrecht University Clinic for Companion Animals.
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The Utrecht University Clinic for Companion Animals (UCCA) provides high standard veterinary care. However, it is difficult for pet owners to assess the quality of the care provided objectively. The UCCA therefore would like the owners to at least have the sense that the given veterinary care is of high quality, by providing the pet owners with good services. The intensive care unit (ICU) in particular wants to know if their given care is assessed as high quality by pet owners and if there are any areas for improvement. For this reason a written customer satisfaction survey was carried out. The emphasis was on the contact points between pet owner and veterinarian. Of the 322 approached pet owners, 215 people (66,8%) completed the survey. The results show that most aspects of the services provided to the owners are appreciated as good to very good. Considering the UCCA as a whole, these scores were given to the treatment of the pet as well as the owner, the accessibility and the time spend waiting. For the ICU specifically, these scores were given for animal handling, the quality of the given medical care, provided services to the owner, invested personal time of the veterinarian towards the owner and patient, treatment of pets around death, instructions for aftercare, the organisation of discharge, emotional support and the written information given at registration. There were some aspects which scored impartial to good, including the costs for care provided by the UCCA as a whole. For the ICU in particular this score was given to the costs and costs estimation in advance, the visit options and the emotional support of an owner during death of a pet. As high as 90,7% of all owners noted that their satisfaction towards the ICU was good to very good. Owners seemed not to be able to separately assess both the UCCA as a whole and the ICU in particular. One option the ICU has in mind to improve services to owners in the future, is to place webcams above animal pens. This idea is well received by most of the owners. Furthermore there is room for improvement by clear and consistent communication regarding costs and visit options. Although owners were satisfied with the instructions concerning aftercare, there is a need for more written instructions. Last but not least motivating owners to get health insurance for their pets can improve the way pet owners experience value for money.