Services production and patient satisfaction in primary care
Context The institutional setting for the study was the primary physician service in Norway, where there is a regular general practitioner scheme. Each inhabitant has a statutory right to be registered with a regular general practitioner. There are large differences between physicians in service production.Objective We studied whether difference in services production between physicians has an effect on how satisfied patients are with the services that are provided.Methodology Data about patient satisfaction were obtained from a survey of a representative sample of the population. We obtained data about how satisfied the respondents were with: waiting time to get an appointment, amount of time the physician spent with them, and to what extent they perceived that the physician took their medical problems seriously. The survey data were merged with data on service production for the primary physician that the respondent was registered with. Service production was measured as the number of consultations per person on the list.Results There was a positive and relatively strong association between the level of service production of the general practitioners and patient satisfaction with waiting time for a consultation. There was no association between the level of service production and the two other measures of patient satisfaction.Conclusion The results provide evidence about one of several factors that should be taken into account when deciding on future health manpower policies with respect to primary physician services in Norway.
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