A study of outpatient satisfaction at primary health centers in Puducherry

Authors: Raghunath E , Vijayalakshmi S, Sathagurunath PA

The Health Agenda 2013 Oct; 1(4): 118-121

Introduction: Patient satisfaction is a scale to assess the services offered by the healthcare system. It depends on quality of clinical services provided, availability of medicine, behavior of doctor and other health staff, cost of services, hospital infrastructure, physical comfort, emotional support and respect for patient preferences. Though majority of our population are using public health sector, the effectiveness and quality of services at these centers needs to be measured frequently so that a domesticated and localized healthcare plan could be developed. Objective: To assess the outpatient satisfaction at primary health centers in Puducherry. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted in selected three primary health centers of Puducherry, with a pre-designed questionnaire, during November 2012.  Information regarding patients’ satisfaction related to services offered at these centers, response of the healthcare providers and quality of care were obtained. Data was entered and analyzed in Microsoft excel for windows. Results: The mean age of patients was 44.3 years. Majority (93.5%) of the patients had accessed the primary health center earlier. 86.5% patients were satisfied with the location of the primary health centers. The mean waiting period was 31.2 minutes. 42% patients were not satisfied due to overcrowding. 43% patients felt that the physicians had not explained about their illness properly. 48% patients felt that they didn’t receive proper advices on preventing similar illness in future. 76% patients were satisfied with the treatment offered in the PHCs. Mean satisfaction was found to be 73.5%. Conclusion: Most of the patients were found to be satisfied, yet there were some shortcomings in the quality of care. Inadequate staff and lack of commitment towards patient care were foremost reasons.

Key words: Healthcare, Patient satisfaction, Primary Health Center

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