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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 17-22

The association between waiting time and patient satisfaction in outpatient clinics: Findings from a tertiary care hospital in Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Family Medicine, Ministry of the National Guard Health Affairs, Al Ahsa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Division of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, King Abdulaziz Hospital, National Guard Health Authority, Eastern Region, Al Ahsa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rasmah S Al-Harajin
Department of Family Medicine, King Abdulaziz Hospital, National Guard Health Authority, Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs, Eastern Region, P.O. Box 2477, Al Ahsa 31982
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_14_18

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BACKGROUND: Patient satisfaction is an important indicator for assessing the quality of health care because it affects the timely, efficient, and patient-centered delivery of quality health care, and patient satisfaction is associated with the clinical outcomes. This study aimed to examine the relationship between waiting time and patient satisfaction in a tertiary hospital in Saudi Arabia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted at family medicine and other specialized clinics. Data were collected through a structured, self-administered questionnaire distributed to patients seen at the outpatient clinics. Variables collected were sociodemographic information and patient satisfaction scores to evaluate the association between waiting time and satisfaction. RESULTS: A total of 406 patients participated in the study. Half of the patients reported being satisfied with the waiting time, while the remaining were dissatisfied (mean satisfaction score 38.4 ± 6.63). Family medicine clinic scored better in waiting time than other specialized clinics; between arrival and registration (P < 0.01), between registration and consultation (P < 0.01), consultation time (P < 0.01), and overall waiting time (P < 0.01). Patients treated at the family medicine clinic were more likely to be satisfied than those seen in other specialized clinics (61.2% vs. 40%, P < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Overall satisfaction was lower than shown in previous literature. Gender and clinic type were significantly associated with satisfaction score; those who attended the family medicine clinics were more satisfied than those attending other specialized clinics. Findings may be used to inform researchers, clinicians, and policy-makers' decisions on quality improvement programs.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010