Physician Courtesy and Patient Satisfaction in a Pediatric Plastic and Oral Surgery Department

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Abstract

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Hospitals in the United States have started collecting information related to the patient experience with the objective of improving overall patient satisfaction. Between 2012 and 2015, the authors collected data from 2,875 patient satisfaction surveys. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of several variables—wait time, physician courtesy, administrative staff courtesy, patients’ opportunity to ask questions, and patients’ understanding of the answers—on a patient satisfaction score. A linear regression model was used to analyze the effects of these variables on patient satisfaction. All variables but one were significantly associated with patient satisfaction in the multivariable model. Healthcare provider courtesy was the strongest predictor of patient satisfaction; a score of “excellent” was associated with a 2.63-point (95% confidence interval [2.36, 2.90]) increase on a 5-point scale for patient satisfaction compared with a courtesy score of “poor.” These findings suggest that patients had a positive experience when physicians and staff members were courteous.

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