Does Doctor-Patient Communication Affect Patient Satisfaction with Hospital Care?
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The results from the study show that most of the patients are served within five minutes upon their arrival at the hospital. Taking an overview look on the results, it emerges that medical personnel in Netherlands serve their patients faster than their counterparts in Saudi Arabia. However, it is discouraging to find out that the percentage that is served beyond five minutes after the arrival is high. Myocardial infarction is an emergency condition (Covinky, K.E., et al., 544). It should be treated as such. The sooner it is handled the better the outcomes. Therefore, it is important for the hospitals to put in place strategies that will enable them handle myocardial infarction cases with speed. The percentage handled within the first five minutes must rise close to 100% for better outcomes.
Satisfaction with the explanations about the tests done:
The findings show that patients in both hospitals are satisfied with the explanations given to them regarding the tests that are done concerning their condition. This is indicated by the high percentage that represents satisfaction. However, it appears that the level of satisfaction in Netherlands is higher than the level of satisfaction in Saudi Arabia. Ordinarily, it is important for the medical personnels to explain all the tests that are needed to be carried out on a patient prior to performing them. It is necessary to engage the patient adequately in the process of the treatment. Considering these findings, it is practical to state that the hospitals in both countries are doing what is required of them.
Patient satisfaction with the explanation given about myocardial infarction:
The findings from the study clearly show that the patients were generally satisfied with the explanation given to them by the medical personnel with regard to their condition. It is important for the medical personnels to offer good explanation to the patients with regard to their condition. The patients become aware of their condition and therefore assume full responsibility of it. With awareness on the part of the patients, there is compliance that helps in achieving positive treatment outcomes. In addition, giving enough information to the patients regarding their disease empowers them in making better decisions (Priporas, C.V., et al., 48). They become aware of their role to play in the process of the management of the condition. In the case this study, is encouraging to find out that the hospitals used in the study are keen on this aspect of involving the patient in the treatment by informing them well.
Satisfaction with the personal attention given to the patients by the doctors:
The results of the study reveal that the patients are generally satisfied by the personal attention that doctors give to them. In Netherlands, the level of satisfaction by percentage of the respondents is near 100%. This is an indication of good practice by the doctors in these hospitals. Giving a patient individualized attention makes them feel that they are important. In addition, it makes them feel that their condition is being taken care of. This is an important practice that should be incorporated in the hospitals. Moreover, when the doctors get close to the patient, they can get essential information that may be necessary in the course of the treatment. The patient can reveal deep information to a doctor who shows a sense of caring and concern. Both hospitals involved in this study are doing quite well in this respect. They are showing the necessary concern that is required when handling the patients by instituting personal attention to each patient. According to Clever, S.L.,et al (234), good patient-doctor relationship improves the outcome.
Satisfaction with the expertise of the medical personnel:
The findings indicate a general high level of satisfaction of patients to the expertise of the medical personnels handling them in both countries. The findings show that patients in Netherlands trust the expertise of the medical personnel handling them. In Netherlands, the level of satisfaction is approaching 100%. Nevertheless, even that in Saudi Arabia is not badly off. The findings show that the medical personnels in both countries handling cases of myocardial infarction are up to the task. The expertise of the medical personnel should be of high standard when it comes to dealing with such cases as myocardial infarction (Quintama, J.M., et al, 69).
Satisfaction level of the patients with the information given to them regarding their treatment:
Generally, the patients are satisfied with the information that is given to them regarding their treatment. This information includes various treatment options available, drugs to be used in the treatment, need for adherence to the treatment and the expected prognosis (Clever, S.L., et al., 235). The information given to the patients should be such that it helps in achieving a better outcome. In this regard, it should promote compliance and adherence to the treatment on the part of the patients. If the patients trust the level of the expertise of the medical personnel, they are satisfied with the information that they give to them.
Patients’ satisfaction with the way the hospital facilitates visits by the family members and relatives:
Generally, the patients in both countries are satisfied with the schedule that the hospital has for the visits by the family members and other relatives. Family members and relatives are important to the patient because they offer emotional support that is pertinent in the recovery progress. It is clear that in Netherlands, the level of satisfaction is so high approaching 100%. This is because there are no limitations imposed on the visits by the family members to the patients.
Satisfaction with the rules given:
High percentage of patients in both hospitals showed satisfaction with the rules that they are given after discharge with regard to managing their condition. These rules include the amount of exercise they should involve themselves with, the kind of diet that is consistent with their condition, how to assess their heart condition in the course of their activities and what to do in case they suspect an abnormality. Nevertheless, there is a small difference in the level of satisfaction between Netherlands and Saudi Arabia. The difference could be due to the explanations that accompany the rules given. The rules given are understood at different degrees depending on the person giving them and how they are given (Quintama, J.,M., et al., 68). It is possible that, in Netherlands, patients are given the rules and then given the reasons why they should adhere to them. In Saudi Arabia, poor communication between the patients and the medical personnel may be the cause for the massive dissatisfaction expressed by the patients.
Patients’ satisfaction with the time spent with them by the doctors:
Generally, there is a higher percentage of the patients who are satisfied with the time spent with them by the doctors. However, a small percentage of patients is either neutral or dissatisfied by the amount of time and privacy accorded by the doctors. This finding reveals that the doctors are embracing the need for them to attend to the patients by giving them enough time. It is encouraging to find out that the patients are satisfied with the time that the doctors spend with them. These results show consistency with previous findings in this study. According to Priporas, C.V., et all (47), the doctor’s attitude towards the patient is very important in the psychological support of the patient. Doctors in Netherlands have more time with their patients than their counterparts in Saudi Arabia. It is necessary for the doctors to avail adequate time to the patients. This gives them an opportunity to understand the patient condition of the patient well. In addition, this creates a strong bond that defines doctor-patient relationship that can influence the subsequent steps in the treatment process.
Patient’s satisfaction with the food and drinks provided:
The findings in this study show that the patients are generally satisfied with what the hospital provides for food and drinks in both hospitals. Admitted patients need proper diet that is consistent with the condition that they are suffering from. While they are recovering, they require proper food to help boost their body immunity. Moreover, there is need for more energy to assist in the general body recovery process. In findings in this report are encouraging as far as the patients’ care is concerned.
General evaluation of the experience of the patients in the hospital:
Generally, patients rated the level of management in both hospitals highly. They indicated that the management provided was good enough to allow for proper management of myocardial infarction. The findings are encouraging. It is important for the hospital management to provide a conducive environment for the care of its patients (Kova J.A et al, 24). By so doing, the patients get satisfied with the hospital services. This should be the aim of the policy makers and other members of the management team.
Significance of the Results
In Netherlands, it is clear that patients are treated well and this is because of high levels of satisfaction as depicted in the results. It is encouraging to find out that patients with myocardial infarction are being treated with urgency that is required because the condition is treated as a matter of emergency. In Saudi Arabia, much needs to be done in the hospitals. If decisions are to be formulated based on the findings, then it is disheartening to find out the high numbers of patients who are dissatisfied by the services offered.
There were several limitations during the study. Firstly, it was difficult to pin down the exact causes of dissatisfactions by the patients in Saudi Arabia. Also, it was not clear why most of the participants in the study were males. Perhaps further studies are necessary to find the answers to these two problems. It was difficult to get clarifications from the patients because most of them decided to fill the questionnaires out of the hospital and then posted them to the researchers. It is hoped that future studies will consider involving the patients using interviews so that proper clarifications can be done. The other challenge was that it was not possible to encourage with the medical personnel because of time limitation for the study. In the future, it will be paramount to base research on the level of awareness of the medical personnel regarding treatment guidelines for various diseases including myocardial infarction. The level of knowledge by the doctors improves the patient conditions greatly.
This report recommends that the management of KFSHRC in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia must find out how to improve their standards of service delivery for the sake of the patients. In addition, the hospital should come up with a policy that ensures patients with emergency conditions are handled with the necessary urgency. The doctors in the hospital should avail more time with the patients and give them enough attention to boost their level of satisfaction. Moreover, the patients’ emotional support requires attention. One way of doing so is having proper arrangements where the patient’s family members come to visit the patient and spend quality time with them. The UMCG in the Netherlands is doing quite well as far as patient care is concerned. This report recommends that the hospital should continue doing so. Finally, the report recommends that the time taken to handle the patients when they arrive at the hospital should be minimum possible. Delay in the treatment of myocardial infarction can have detrimental consequences.
This study shows that patients are generally handled well in Netherlands, UMCG, and Saudi Arabia, KFSHRC. The level of satisfaction as presented in terms of percentages of the respondents is very encouraging. Patient satisfaction in the hospital is a measure of the quality of services being offered. There should be no compromise when it comes to the comfort of the patients in the hospital premises. Myocardial infarction is an emergency condition. It should be treated with urgency because time factor is the primary determinant of the prognosis of the condition. It is a condition that requires that a patient be handled very fast. Although this aspect has low satisfaction levels, generally, the patients gave both hospitals high scores to denote that they are generally satisfied by the services offered.This research adds into the existing researches in establishing the key parameters that determine patient satisfaction.
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