PATIENT PERCEPTION AND SATISFACTION WITH HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS AT PRIMARY CARE FACILITIES
1.1 Background of Study
Primary Health Care forms the bedrock of the health-care services of a country. It is the quality of health care available to the majority of the population that determines the health status of the country and is the best indicator for the level of social development of the country. The important conditions of Primary Health-Care Services are that they should be: Efficient with regard to cost, techniques and organization; readily accessible to those concerned; Acceptable to the community served; at a reasonable cost. Health-care services should be available in a manner and language that is suitable to the community and population it serves and accommodating of local traditions and customs, and at a price which the population can afford. Patient satisfaction has been linked to increased patient compliance, continuity of care, better clinical outcomes, and greater service utilization and risk management. Patient satisfaction is thus a key marker for the quality of health-care delivery and an important indicator for evaluation and improvement of health-care services. Studies of Patient Satisfaction in health care originated in the USA during the 1950s,the earliest studies attempted to identify patient characteristics such as age, gender, and race to predict patient satisfaction levels (Apostle and Oder 1967;Bertakis et al. 1991). Another group of studies analysed health-care attributes such as nursing care, physician care, etc. to identify attributes that influence overall patient satisfaction (Ware et al. 1975; Ross et al. 1993; Dansky and Brannon 1996; Oswald et al. 1998). DrVeera Prasad in his comparative study of patient satisfaction said that there are five determinants of patient satisfaction. Reliability: The ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately. Responsiveness: The willingness to help the patients and provide prompt service. Assurance: The knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence. Empathy: The provision of caring and individualized attention to patients. Tangibles: The appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personal, and communication materials. A study was carried out to identify which attributes of a primary health-care experience access, staff care and physician care, and which aspects of each attribute are most significant in patients’ response to the services they receive.