Objective: To assess the relationship between hospital patients' quality of care ratings and their experiences with health-related information exchanges and communication during hospitalization.
Design: Cross-sectional multivariate dimensional analysis of data from a quality of care experience questionnaire of hospital patients comparing scores across three levels of reported satisfaction.
Setting and participants: Five thousand nine hundred and fifty-two patients from a Swiss University Hospital responded to the questionnaire at discharge during 2010.
Main outcome measures: Survey questions measuring patients' evaluation of quality of care, patient loyalty and overall satisfaction.
Results: Different levels of reported satisfaction are associated with differing experiences of health-related information and communication during a hospital stay.
Conclusions: Patients who report lower satisfaction appear to attribute to the hospital staff enduring negative dispositions from behaviours that may be due to specific situational contexts. Negative experiences appear to influence scores on most other communication and information domains. Patients who report higher satisfaction, in contrast, appear to differentiate negative experiences and positive experiences and they appear to relativize and compartmentalize negative experiences associated with their hospital stay.
Keywords: hospital care; measurement of quality; patient satisfaction; setting of care.