Purpose: To evaluate patients' satisfaction regarding eye care services and suggest policy changes accordingly.
Study design: Descriptive study.
Materials and methods: This study was conducted between September 2005 and June 2006. Patients attending the eye clinic of Sadguru Netra Chikitsalaya, Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh, India, and admitted as in-patients in this hospital were our study population. Randomly selected patients were interviewed by trained staff. Close-ended questionnaire was used to conduct these structured interviews. Their responses were grouped into one of five categories and evaluated to determine satisfaction for different components of eye care services.
Results: Three hundred and twenty persons were interviewed. The satisfaction was of excellent grade among 77 (48.1%) patients attending clinic and 156 (97.5%) patients who were admitted in the hospital. The participants expressed dissatisfaction for the long waiting period in clinics, poor cleanliness, and insufficient toilet facilities. Those admitted in the hospital felt that food facilities were less than the expected quality. Child-friendly facilities received high satisfaction scores.
Conclusion: Although eye care services both in clinics and in the wards were satisfactory according to the end-users, there are scopes for improvement. Patient satisfaction surveys should be encouraged in hospitals for better accountability and also for strengthening the quality of eye care services.
Keywords: Eye care; health policy; patient satisfaction.