This article presents the results of a research study that laid out important considerations for organizations to improve their patient satisfaction scores. It addresses a dimension of patient satisfaction that appears to garner little attention in healthcare contexts: emotional support. Though the literature strongly suggests that emotional support is correlated to overall patient satisfaction, few organizations have systematically attempted to understand the elements of outstanding emotional support. Research at a community teaching hospital in Ontario has shed light on the essential components of emotional support. In this article, a typology of emotional support is offered. With a better understanding of the components of emotional support, organizations may be able to undertake actions that could potentially improve patient satisfaction scores and, in turn, the overall quality of patient care.
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