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J Healthc Manag. 2009 Mar-Apr;54(2):93-102; discussion 102-3.

Patient satisfaction: focusing on "excellent".

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1
Division of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, USA. otanik@ipfw.edu

Abstract

In an emerging competitive market such as healthcare, managers should focus on achieving excellent ratings to distinguish their organization from others. When it comes to customer loyalty, "excellent" has a different meaning. Customers who are merely satisfied often do not come back. The purpose of this study was to find out what influences adult patients to rate their overall experience as "excellent." The study used patient satisfaction data collected from one major academic hospital and four community hospitals. After conducting a multiple logistic regression analysis, certain attributes were shown to be more likely than others to influence patients to rate their experiences as excellent. The study revealed that staff care is the most influential attribute, followed by nursing care. These two attributes are distinctively stronger drivers of overall satisfaction than are the other attributes studied (i.e., physician care, admission process, room, and food). Staff care and nursing care are under the control of healthcare managers. If improvements are needed, they can be accomplished through training programs such as total quality management or continuous quality improvement, through which staff employees and nurses learn to be sensitive to patients' needs. Satisfying patients' needs is the first step toward having loyal patients, so hospitals that strive to ensure their patients are completely satisfied are more likely to prosper.

PMID:
19413164
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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