Essential tips for measuring levels of consumer satisfaction with rural health service quality

Monash University School of Rural Health, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.
Rural and remote health (Impact Factor: 0.88). 10/2006; 6(4):594.
Source: PubMed


Quality of health services is a matter of increasing importance to health authorities. Monitoring consumer satisfaction of health care is an important input to improving the quality of health services. This article highlights a number of important considerations learned from rural consumer studies relevant to ensuring the valid measurement of consumer satisfaction with rural health services, as a means of contributing to quality improvements.
This article compares two methods of analysing rural consumers' satisfaction with healthcare services. In one study of three rural communities in western New South Wales (NSW) and eight communities in north-west Victoria, residents were asked to rate their satisfaction with five key aspects of local health services (availability, geographical accessibility, choice, continuity, economic accessibility as measured by affordability) using a 5 point Likert scale from: one = very satisfied to five = very dissatisfied. An alternative method of assessing levels of consumer satisfaction was undertaken in the survey of eight rural communities in north-west Victoria by investigating consumers' experiences with actual and potential complaints in relation to health services.
Both the NSW and Victorian respondents reported generally high levels of satisfaction with the five indicators of quality of health care. At the same time, 11% of Victorian study respondents reported having made a complaint about a health service in the previous 12 months, and one-third of the Victorian respondents reported experiences with their health services about which they wanted to complain but did not, over the same period.
Interpretation of apparent consumer satisfaction with their health services must take particular account of the measures and research methods used. In assessing consumer satisfaction with health services in rural areas, specific attention should be given to maximising the engagement of rural consumers in order to ensure representativeness of findings, and to minimise possible biases in satisfaction ratings associated with the use of particular tools.

1 Follower
6 Reads
  • Source
    • "The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of corruption on healthcare satisfaction in Post-Socialist countries. On one end of the equation, customer satisfaction with healthcare is recognized as a crucial component of healthcare delivery by governments, healthcare authorities practitioners, and patients worldwide (Smith et al., 2006; Kimenyi and Shughart II, 2006; Kettl et al., 2006; Amponsah-Nketiah and Hiemenz, 2009). Feedback from customers provides an important impetus to improving healthcare delivery (Qatari and Haran, 1999; Bara et al., 2002; Brinkerhoff and Wetterberg, 2013). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is the lack of consensus about the effect of corruption on healthcare satisfaction in transitional countries. Interpreting the burgeoning literature on this topic has proven difficult due to reverse causality and omitted variable bias. In this study, the effect of corruption on healthcare satisfaction is investigated in a set of 12 Post-Socialist countries using instrumental variable regression on the sample of 2010 Life in Transition survey (N = 8,655). The results indicate that experiencing corruption significantly reduces healthcare satisfaction.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Social Science & Medicine
  • Source
    • "Consumers especially in the developing countries are gradually becoming aware of their right to quality service delivery as far as their health is concerned (Abuosi & Atinga, 2013). As a result, the provision of quality services in the health sector is gaining strength and has made many stakeholders in the health industry, governmental institutions and consumers, to place much premium on unprecedented quality service delivery as a means to eradicate hostile treatment effects and to meet consumer's numerous demands while fostering real value for money (Smith et al., 2006; Nketiah-Amponsah & Hiemenz, 2009). Abuosi & Atinga (2013), reveal that Ghana's health system has undergone several developments over the years with the utmost target of creating outstanding improvements in healthcare delivery. "

    Preview · Article · Jul 2015
  • Source
    • "Consequently, providing quality services in healthcare organisations is gaining momentum in the extant literature (Nketiah-Amponsah and Hiemenz, 2009). Many health sector stakeholders, government agencies/institutions and healthcare consumers are now emphasising service quality delivery (Lapsley, 2000; Smith et al., 2006) as a mechanism to avoid adverse treatment outcomes and to meet consumer demand and value for money. Rational healthcare consumers prefer to use services that provide quality and best-value care (Lee et al., 2006). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The authors seek to examine two key issues: to assess patients' hospital service quality perceptions and expectation using SERVQUAL; and to outline the distinct concepts used to assess patient perceptions. Questionnaires were administered to 250 patients on admission and follow-up visits. The 22 paired SERVQUAL expectation and perception items were adopted. Repeated t-measures and factor analysis with Varimax rotation were used to analyse data. Results showed that patient expectations were not being met during medical treatment. Perceived service quality was rated lower than expectations for all variables. The mean difference between perceptions and expectations was statistically significant. Contrary to the SERVQUAL five-factor model, four service-quality factors were identified in the study. Findings have practical implications for hospital managers who should consider stepping up staffing levels backed by client-centred training programmes to help clinicians deliver care to patients' expectations. Limited studies are tailored towards patients' service-quality perception and expectation in Ghanaian hospitals. The findings therefore provide valuable information for policy and practice.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance
Show more