The relationship between patient satisfaction and service quality in outpatient departments: A cross-sectional study

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Health Management and Economics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Health Service Management, School of Management and Medical Education, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Background and Objectives: The healthcare industry is increasingly growing in a competitive atmosphere. One of the key issues for the survival of healthcare organizations is patient satisfaction. This study aimed to investigate the impact of health service quality and demographic characteristics on patient satisfaction with outpatient departments at teaching hospitals affiliated with Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2019. A sample of 400 patients referring to outpatient departments at teaching hospitals was recruited through a multistage systematic random sampling technique. A valid and reliable questionnaire was used to collect data which were then analyzed by using descriptive tests and linear regression in the SPSS 23 software.
Results: The mean scores of service quality and patient satisfaction were 3.73 ± 0.51 and 3.61 ± 0.97 out of 5, respectively. Moreover, patients’ demographic characteristics, like age, marital status, residence area, as well as service quality dimensions, such as admission process, physician consultation, service costs, accessibility, and appointment were identified as the most effective factors on patient satisfaction.
Conclusion: The admission process was the most important determinant of patient satisfaction. Therefore, physicians and reception staff are advised to provide patients with useful information and cost-effective service to increase their satisfaction. Nonetheless, it seems necessary for teaching hospitals to establish plans which facilitate payment, appointment, and examination process.