Is patient loyalty associated with quality of care? Results of a patient survey over primary care in Switzerland

Katja Goetz, Marianne Jossen, Thomas Rosemann, Sigrid Hess, Marc Brodowski, Paula Bezzola


OBJECTIVE: The study aimed to evaluate quality of care and to determine which aspects are associated with the willingness to recommend the general practitioner (GP) as a part of patient loyalty. DESIGN: This was an exploratory study which collected patient data from ambulatory care in the German part of Switzerland between 2013 and 2016. SETTING: Primary care in Switzerland. PARTICIPANTS: Included patients from 79 primary care practices who volunteered to participate in the quality management system European Practice Assessment. Patients were afterwards asked to complete the European Task Force on Patient Evaluations of General Practice Care instrument. INTERVENTIONS: Describing influencing factors of quality of care on recommendation of the GP from the perspective of the patients. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Patient perspective on quality of care. RESULTS: Survey respondent rate was 81.3%. Over 69% of the respondents were willing to recommend their GP. 'Listening to you' (94.2%) and 'interest in your personal situation' (93.0%) as a part of the domain 'relationship and communication' were rated as the highest quality criteria. The lowest rate was found for 'being able to speak to the GP on the telephone' (30.0%) and 'waiting time in the waiting room' (50.6%). Patient loyalty, in terms of willingness to recommend the GP, was strongly associated with most of the items under the 'relationship and communication' section but also with having more physician's assistants in the practice. CONCLUSIONS: The results are important for understanding patients' priorities with regard to general practice care. Patient assessment allows us to identify possible areas for quality improvement within the practice and could provide feedback.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational journal for quality in health care : journal of the International Society for Quality in Health Care
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)199-204
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2019


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