A telephone questionnaire examining perceived quality of and satisfaction with Emergency Department (ED) care was administered to randomly selected patients within 60 days of their visit to a university hospital ED over a 13-month period. Patients, or the persons who accompanied them to the ED, rated overall service, nursing technical performance, physician technical performance, nursing bedside manner, physician bedside manner, and registration clerk service on a 5-point rating scale (5 = excellent, 4 = very good, 3 = good, 2 = fair, 1 = poor). Patients were also asked if they felt the care was delivered in a timely manner. A total of 618 interviews were conducted (1333 attempts to contact, 12 people declined to be interviewed). The results suggest that patient perceptions of the technical quality of care are more important than perceived timeliness of care or bedside manner in determining patient satisfaction with ED care.