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Outpatient satisfaction with healthcare services in Ontario

TitleOutpatient satisfaction with healthcare services in Ontario
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBarnett, S.. E.
UniversityLaurentian University
CitySudbury, ON

Healthcare in Canada is designed to serve the population. Patient satisfaction surveys can be used to monitor how well the population is being served and provide suggestions for improvement in the quality of healthcare. Many factors can influence patient satisfaction; however, the literature to date builds a largely inconsistent picture of its key determinants. Furthermore, researchers who have undertaken much of the research to date in Ontario have had a tendency to extrapolate their results to a larger geographic area than may be appropriate for their selected sample, which can produce misleading results. The primary objectives of this study were to evaluate outpatient satisfaction with healthcare services in Ontario, using a representative sample, and determine if there are certain populations in Ontario that are more satisfied than others and which factors influence outpatient satisfaction. For the study, secondary data were analyzed from the cross-sectional Canadian Community Health Survey of 2007. Overall, 46.5% of Ontario outpatients reported being very satisfied with healthcare services. Outpatients in rural Southern Ontario were significantly more satisfied than elsewhere in the province. Outpatient satisfaction varied significantly according to socio-demographic factors, the setting, and medical factors. Availability, or access, to healthcare services and the quality of healthcare services personally received were among the most important factors in outpatient satisfaction. Further research is required to gain a better understanding of outpatient expectations and other factors that may explain more of the variance in outpatient satisfaction.