Patient satisfaction between primary care providers and hospitals: a cross-sectional survey in Jilin province, China

Int J Qual Health Care. 2016 Jun;28(3):346-54. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzw038. Epub 2016 Apr 18.


Objective: To assess patient satisfaction with outpatient and inpatient care between primary care providers and secondary/tertiary hospitals, and to examine its association with socio-demographic characteristics and type of institution, based on self-reported survey data.

Design: Cross-sectional survey.

Setting: Healthcare facilities within Jilin province, China.

Participants: In total, 993 outpatients and 925 inpatients aged ≥15 years old were recruited.

Main outcome measures: Patient satisfaction with the care experience.

Results: Patient satisfaction with outpatient and inpatient care was significantly associated with type of healthcare delivery setting in Jilin, China. Seeking outpatient care from community health centers (CHCs) was significantly associated with a higher ratio of patient satisfaction. Patients of county and tertiary hospitals complained about long-waiting times, bad attitudes of health workers, high expense of treatment, and their overall satisfaction towards outpatient care was lower. In the terms of inpatient care, patients were more satisfied with treatment expense in CHCs compared with county hospitals.

Conclusions: CHCs and hospitals face different challenges regarding patient satisfaction. Further healthcare reform in China need to adopt more measures (e.g. increasing quality of primary care, setting up a referral medical system etc.) to improve patient satisfaction.

Keywords: China; community health centers; inpatient care; outpatient care; patient satisfaction; primary healthcare; secondary/tertiary hospitals.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • China
  • Community Health Services / economics
  • Community Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Financing, Personal
  • Health Status
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care / economics
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Waiting Lists
  • Young Adult