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Arch Hellen Med, 30(3), May-June 2013, 316-324


Comparative analysis of two studies of outpatient satisfaction in primary medical care

G. Pierrakos,1 M. Sarris,1 S. Soulis,1 A. Goula,1 D. Latsou,1 I. Pateras,1 K. Vourliotou,2 P. Giannoulatos2
1Department of Healthcare and Welfare Management, Faculty of Management and Economics, Technological Educational Institution, Athens,
2Division of Quality and Efficiency, Ministry of Health, Athens, Greece

OBJECTIVE Comparative analysis of two different methods of measuring patient satisfaction with the outpatient healthcare services in selected hospitals in the Attica-Athens area of Greece.

METHOD The first study used a stratified sampling method and face-to-face interviews. The study period was February and March 2012, and 457 people were enrolled in 8 hospitals in the Attica-Athens area. The second study used a complaints box to collect questionnaires and 1,683 people responded. The study period was the same as the first study and the hospitals included were almost the same.

RESULTS In the first study the mean value of patient satisfaction with the healthcare services was calculated to be 6.81, and in the second study 8.1 (t=7.5, p≤0.001). In both of the studies the patients reported lower satisfaction with the administrative services than with the medical and nursing care. The medical care was reported by the majority of patients as good in the first study and very good in the second study. The nursing care was reported by the majority of patients as good tending to very good in the first study and as very good in the second, the differences between the studies being statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS Both of the study methodologies showed that the bureaucratic procedures and problems in organization have a significant impact on the lower evaluation of administrative services by the outpatients. The complexity of the administrative procedures and the lack of coordination have a negative influence on patients' opinions about the hospital administrative and healthcare services. The patients appear to trust the medical and nursing personnel. All the dimensions of satisfaction were ranked higher in the second study. The method of collecting the questionnaires with a complaints box in the second study, however, needs to be reconsidered, because the intervention of external factors before the final introduction of data increases the risk of modification of the results.

Key words: Outpatient, Primary care, Satisfaction.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine