Arch Hellen Med, 34(1), January-February 2017, 49-57
The added value of patient satisfaction measurements
A. Goula,1 M. Sarris,1 G. Pierrakos,1 N. Spyropoulos,1 K. Vourliotou,2 Ι. Nikolados1
OBJECTIVE Assessment of the necessity for research in measuring patient satisfaction with health services and estimation of the utility of satisfaction indices in the evaluation of the health care provided in public hospitals.
METHOD A qualitative study was conducted over 6 months by the technique of interviews with the use of an interview guide. The sample consisted of the heads of quality offices in 59 public hospitals in the 7 health regions in Greece.
RESULTS Almost all the participants (98.2%) considered that the assessment of patient satisfaction constitutes an important factor that can lead to the identification and confrontation of problems in the daily operation of the health units. A significant percentage of the hospitals studied (66.1%) currently use some type of patient satisfaction measurement and the majority of the participants (66.7%) reported that patients accept and are positive towards satisfaction measurement studies, but acknowledged that systematic awareness and sensitization of the patients about the conduct of such studies is required (96.5%). A basic factor in the process of raising the awareness and sensitization of the patients is involvement of all the health professionals, as alleged by 98.2% of the participants.
CONCLUSIONS This qualitative research project confirmed the necessity for continuing study in measuring patient satisfaction. Such studies can record with validity and prepare the way for dealing reliably with most of the current health services problems and can contribute to the improvement of the quality of health care services. Basic conditions crucial for the success of such studies are firstly, systematic awareness raising and sensitization of the patients, and secondly, active acceptance and support of the health professionals in dealing with the problems that are identified in the course of the studies.
Key words: Health services, Hospital health care, Patient satisfaction.