Background: Customer satisfaction in German hospitals is becoming more important because of increasing competition in the healthcare market. Because the majority of patients with ear-nose-throat (ENT) problems are treated in an outpatient setting, this competition is not only taking place among hospitals but also among specialists in private practices. To assess patient preferences, reliable and valid questionnaires are necessary, which so far exist only for inpatients. The aim of the study was to develop an instrument with which to discover areas for potential improvement of the outpatient department. Material and methods: The questionnaire was developed according to the guidelines of the EORTC and tested in a prestudy. During the time of observation, 98 patients were available, of whom 79 could be included in the study. The return rate was 71%. Of these patients, 18 were female and 38 male; the median age was 56 years. There were no differences between the study group and the yearly clinic average in terms of age, gender, or ratio of tumor patients. Results: Patients mainly complained about waiting times in the outpatient department and diagnostic units as well as high patient turnover. Concerning positive aspects, patients mentioned the medical competence of the treating physicians; concerning negative aspects, the building infrastructure was noted. Conclusion: The questionnaire showed sufficient psychometric properties and helped find areas for improvement in the outpatient department. However, a complete picture of the department will be feasible only with repeated measures, especially when taking steps to improve the department's processes.
|Translated title of the contribution||Patient satisfaction in the outpatient department - A pilot study for customer satisfaction in ENT|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 03.2009|