Patient satisfaction in China: A national survey of inpatients and outpatients


Objectives Patient satisfaction is an important indicator of hospital healthcare quality. Little up-to-date information of patient satisfaction in China is available. This study attempts to gain a holistic understanding of patient satisfaction in China and identify the key antecedents of patient satisfaction. Design A cross-sectional national survey was conducted in 2018. Setting Hospitals in 27 provinces and 4 municipalities in 4 regions of China. Participants A random sample of 15 699 patients who visited 1304 hospitals were surveyed, with around 500 from each of the 27 provinces and 4 municipalities. Primary and secondary outcome measures The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems questionnaire was used to measure patients' overall satisfaction and willingness to recommend the hospital. Results We found significant variation in overall patient satisfaction but little variation in hospital recommendation across the four broad regions. Moreover, we examined determinants of patient satisfaction and their likelihood to recommend the hospital. The overall satisfaction for inpatients and outpatients is commonly influenced by communication with doctors (inpatient: β=0.524, p<0.001; outpatient: β=0.541, p<0.001), hospital cleanness (inpatient: β=0.165, p<0.05; outpatient: β=0.144, p<0.001) and acceptable charges (inpatient: β=1.481, p<0.001; outpatient: β=1.045, p<0.001). Both inpatients and outpatients are more likely to recommend the hospital if there are communication with doctors (inpatient: OR=1.743, p<0.001; outpatient: OR=1.647, p<0.001), acceptable charges (inpatient: OR=2.660, p<0.001; outpatient: OR=2.433, p<0.001). Outpatient satisfaction and hospital recommendation are also influenced by time spent with doctors (satisfaction: β=0.301, p<0.001; recommend: OR=1.430, p<0.001) and waiting time (satisfaction: β=-0.318, p<0.001; recommend: OR=0.844, p<0.001). Conclusions There are regional differences of patient satisfaction in China. Patient satisfaction is influenced by a variety of hospital factors and province/municipality factors. The influencing factors of patient satisfaction may not motivate patients to recommend the hospital.

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BMJ Open