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Wait time as a driver of overall patient satisfaction in an ophthalmology clinic

Authors McMullen M, Netland PA

Received 3 June 2013

Accepted for publication 23 July 2013

Published 20 August 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 1655—1660


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Michael McMullen, Peter A Netland

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA, USA

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether the actual time patients spend waiting is correlated with overall patient satisfaction scores.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey study conducted in an outpatient ophthalmology clinic. The actual time each patient waited to be called by the provider was recorded, and a survey was given at the end of the visit.
Results: There was a significant correlation between the time patients spent waiting and overall patient satisfaction scores (P < 0.001). Patients who were not completely satisfied waited twice as long as those who were completely satisfied (P < 0.001), regardless of whether patients received free care. Satisfaction with the amount of time spent waiting was the strongest driver of overall satisfaction score.
Conclusion: Minimizing the time patients spend waiting to see a provider can result in higher overall patient satisfaction scores, regardless of financial status.

Keywords: patient satisfaction, quality of care, wait time, ambulatory care

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