The impact of medical informatics on patient satisfaction: a USA-based literature review

Int J Med Inform. 2013 Mar;82(3):141-58. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2012.12.008. Epub 2013 Jan 17.


Purpose: Patient satisfaction is increasingly recognized as an important component of quality. The expansion of health information technologies (HIT) might have an impact on patient satisfaction - either positively or negatively. We conducted a literature review to explore the impact of these technologies on patient satisfaction.

Methods: The database of PubMed was searched from inception through May 2010, using the MeSH terms "Medical Informatics" and "Patient Satisfaction". We included all original interventional studies regardless of their study design that were published in English and were evaluating HIT impact on patient satisfaction. Studies were categorized by technology type according to the American Medical Informatics Association framework and by study design. The major outcome of interest was the HIT impact on patient satisfaction.

Results: Of 1293 citations reviewed, 56 studies met our inclusion criteria. Design of these studies included mostly randomized controlled trials (RCTs) (n=20, 36%), cross-sectional surveys (n=17, 30%), and a pre and post studies (n=14, 25%). Overall, 54% (n=30) of the studies demonstrated a positive effect of HIT on patient satisfaction, 34% (n=19) failed to show any effect, 11% (n=6) had inconclusive results, and 2% (n=1) revealed a negative effect. Of the 20 RCTs, 40% (n=8) showed a positive effect of HIT on patient satisfaction, 50% (n=10) failed to show any effect, and 10% (2) had inconclusive results.

Conclusions: Analysis suggested that while there is some evidence that HIT improves patient satisfaction, studies in this literature review, and in particularly RCTs, were not consistent in their findings. Although HIT may be a promising tool to improve patient satisfaction, more well-designed research studies are needed in order to get a better understanding of this domain and accordingly find new opportunities to improve quality of care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Medical Informatics*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • United States