In the contemporary world that is typified by high levels of competition among various organizations, it is prudent for healthcare facilities to focus on how to improve their services. Patient satisfaction is important in healthcare facilities. Consumers have need to be treated with dignity and respect (Beach et al., 2013). Sick persons should be engaged in management’s decisions to feel contented. The value of care in hospitals has become a crucial public concern. Patient contentment is a desirable outcome in the healthcare sector and is an essential aspect of health status of persons (Beach et al., 2013; Cooper et al., 2012).
It is based on the judgment in relation to the quality of clinical care. Patient satisfaction is used to evaluate the quality of medical care in hospitals, which should aim at serving patients with compassion (American Psychological Association, 2010; Cooper et al., 2012). Some patients perceive some hospitals as terrifying places because they are associated with unwelcoming environments that are characterized by rude personnel, overpricing by the management, and outdated methods of assessment (American Psychological Association, 2010; Haskard et al., 2008).
High patient-physician ratios have resulted in high levels of dissatisfaction. In many facilities, the number of sick persons is three times the number of doctors (Ward, Read, Afessa & Kahn, 2012). Particularly, this is the case in community health centers where services are relatively cheap. This has contributed to little attention to the sick, inadequate drugs, and poor quality services (Croker et al., 2013). The number of medical practitioners is not sufficient, making the few overwork to assist patients in facilities (Ward et al., 2012).
This has led to high mortality rates across the world. In cases, some patients die before they are treated. Consumers from wealthy backgrounds have opted to academic health centers where the number of personnel is adequate, for example, university research hospitals. It has been shown that consumers are more satisfied in academic health centers compared with community hospitals (Nadkarni et al., 2014). It is clear that community-based facilities are quantity-oriented rather than quality-oriented (Agha, Schapira, Laud, McNutt & Roter, 2009; Nadkarni et al., 2014).
Therefore, it is vital to address this problem urgently. Otherwise, good healthcare will remain a preserve for the wealthy people who will afford services offered by academic-based hospitals where there is customer satisfaction. It is imperative for the management teams of various organizations to focus on strategic approaches that can be utilized to result in high levels of patient satisfaction.
The proposed study aims at assessing the impacts of high patient-physician ratios on patient satisfaction in academic-based hospitals and community-based hospitals. Performance outcomes in both facilities would be measured using patients’ reports on how they perceive satisfaction and physicians’ performance, i.e., punctuality of medical practitioners, their attitudes toward their work, and their effectiveness. It will investigate whether doctors’ roles have changed significantly. In addition, the study would aim at obtaining data that would be vital in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of personnel in relation to the provision of high quality services, which would correlate with relatively high levels of patient satisfaction.
A research question
What are the effects of high patient-physician ratios on patient satisfaction? The independent variable is high patient-physician ratios because the variable would influence consumer satisfaction. On the other hand, patient satisfaction is the dependent variable due to the fact that it is impacted by the number of physicians and patients.
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