Objective and background: Measures to promote patient satisfaction are important components of the assessment of outcome and strategies for the delivery of health care. In this article, we assess satisfaction among inpatients and the impact of demographics on satisfaction levels.
Materials and methods: This cross-sectional survey adapted from previously used survey tools and validated in our patient group included questions on demographics, communication skills, hospital environment, and the patients' overall evaluation of the hospital. Inpatients from acute wards of five different specialties who stayed for at least 2 days were enrolled.
Results: There were 988 respondents with a mean age of 39.1 years (25.9%) and the mean length of stay (LOS) of 10.0 days (24.1%). Illiteracy rate was 42.4%, and 43.1% were male. The overall satisfaction scores-out of five-were 4.3 (0.6%) for communication with nurses, 4.4 (0.4%) for communication with doctors, and 4.1 (0.3%) for hospital environment; 98.9% of the patients would recommend the hospital to their family and friends. The lowest score was for the "room environment" (3.99, 0.8%) and the highest for overall services of the hospital (4.7, 0.5%). Satisfaction levels drop significantly with LOS of more than 4 days (P < 0.006). The satisfaction was higher in females than males across all the three domains of care assessed (P < 0.005). The highest satisfaction seen in the obstetrics service could be explained by the nature of the condition normally seen in this department and the normally good outcome. There was higher satisfaction in the medical than surgical services but this reached a significant level for the overall center score domain only (4.1, 0.3% versus 4.0, 0.3%; P < 0.0001).
Conclusion: The factors with positive impact on satisfaction were the female gender and shorter LOS. There was higher satisfaction in the medical than surgical services for all three domains reaching significant levels for center score only.
Keywords: Patient satisfaction; Saudi Arabia.