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theHealth  2011 

In search of a new accountability: the voice of patients

Keywords: Patient Satisfaction , Accountability

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Abstract:

Background: Given existing health financing patterns in the South Asian countries, the costs associated with chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are likely to weigh more heavily on those least able to afford them, increasing the risk of economic loss and impoverishment. In this context patient satisfaction analysis may emerge as a potent tool to assess, improve and make healthcare more accountable in these region.Methods: In search of quality of care rendered, through the perspective of the patients, this cross-sectional observational institution based study was carried out for a year in cardiology department of a teaching hospital in India. The study population being the patients admitted in the non-paying beds of non-intensive cardiac care unit (ICCU) and in the intensive cardiac care unit (ICCU) beds. This was carried out with the help of pre-designed and pre-tested questionnaire. Results: The patients particularly those admitted in the ICCU were satisfied with the services rendered regarding regularity of availability of drugs, clarity of communication, cleanliness of ward and economy of treatment. Among the study population, 55% of non-ICCU and 73% of ICCU patients recommended the hospital for similar patients. They cited good behaviour of doctors, economic treatment, etc as reasons for their recommendations. Shortage of staff, administrative hassles, etc remain as prime reasons for those who did not make a recommendation.Conclusion: Improving upon the patient satisfaction can ensure more effective healthcare delivery through motivated and satisfied client, who may carry on further advocacy.

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