Patient Satisfaction as an Indicator of Quality Care in Independent Health Facilities: Developing and Assessing a Tool to Enhance Public Accountability
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The objective of this research was to examine the performance of a brief patient survey about quality of care received in community-based diagnostic and therapeutic facilities. The survey was administered to patients in 44 facilities that were also scheduled for a formal external assessment. The response rate was 53%. Patients generally rated their care positively; 18.5% of patients rated at least 1 item as fair or poor. The amount of information received about risks and complications was rated least favorably; concern and caring shown by staff was rated most favorably. The 10 items which patients rated regarding aspects of quality formed an internally consistent scale (alpha = .93). Patients' ratings were not useful predictors of assessor ratings. Although patients' ratings cannot substitute for expert on-site assessments, they are an important part of a quality management program. The patient survey provides additional, complementary information about components of quality care that are important to them.
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