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Waiting Times in Out-patient Department (OPD)

Info: 1261 words (5 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 11th Feb 2020

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Tagged: patient satisfaction


The review of literature on waiting time in OPD setting is presented under following headings

1) Waiting time in hospitals

2) Patient satisfaction about waiting time and service availed in hospitals

  1. Waiting time in the hospitals

VijayaBharat et al, 2011 conducted a cross sectional study to compute the waiting time in a crowded out-patient department (OPD) of the Cardiology section of Tata Main Hospital, Jamshedpur. The results shows that the mean waiting time was 58.6 minutes for each patients and 8.7% of the patients were seen within 30 minutes of their arrival in the hospital. The study recommended that in order to reduce overcrowding of patients, the type of cases, their contact time and the frequency of visits needed to be identified. Efficiency was improved by increasing the availability of doctors and introduction of practice guidelines.

Rafat Mohebbifar et al (2013) conducted a descriptive study in an educational and learning hospitals affiliated to the University of Ghazvin, Iran to analyse the outpatient waiting time in different hospital clinics. They reported an average waiting time of 161 minutes for a patient. The study recorded longest average waiting time 245 minutes in ophthalmology clinics. In the same study, least average waiting time (77 minutes) was recorded in orthopaedics clinics.

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Sumeet Singh et al 2013 conducted a cross sectional study in a tertiary care medical college hospital in Punjab, North India to assess the patients satisfaction regarding patient care, and it shows that time interval between admission and commencement of treatment was more than half an hour in 13% cases. Majority of the respondents find difficult to locate the labs and time taken to reach the labs. Almost 71% of cases takes about 10-30 min and more than half an hour in 7 % of the cases, with problem in locating the labs were 27 %.

2) Patient satisfaction level about waiting time for the service availed in hospitals

In tertiary hospital setting the highest priority given to the best health care facility to the patients. Patient’s Satisfaction plays a major role in improving health services and it also helps in identifying the flaws and pons in a health care system.

Fekadu Aseefa, et al 2011 conducted a study to assess the patient’s satisfaction with health services at territory hospital in Ethiopia. In this study the findings shows that the way doctor’s services were 82.7% compared with overall satisfaction which was only 77% with the other services waiting time. In contrast dissatisfaction were 46.9 % reported who spend time to see a doctor. Waiting time in hospitals imparts a major role in the patient satisfaction who seek health access.

Sarkar J et al 2011 conducted a cross sectional study among outpatients in a peripheral government teaching hospital and about satisfaction level with respect to hospital service and noted that majority of the patients were satisfied in consultation room(53.5%), doctor patient communication (51.0%), and overall satisfaction were (59.9%). The place for waiting area and time (38.6%) was found to be the unsatisfied.

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Bilkish N. P, Shelke SC et al 2012 conducted a cross-sectional study of towards services received at tertiary care hospital on OPD basis and found out that for consultation patients had to wait less than 30 min. 91% of the out patients were satisfied with OPD timings. 77% patients were satisfied with explanation of treatment by pharmacist.

Anand D ,KaushalSK et al 2012 , conducted a cross sectional study which among patients and respondents attending outpatients departments of primary, secondary, and territory health facilities of Agra to evaluate the level of satisfaction of patients visiting health facilities and found that level of satisfaction was high with signboards display, courtesy and respect given by doctors. Overall time duration given by doctors, skills of doctors, effectiveness of health service in solving problems. Satisfaction was found to be comparatively low level concerning with the timings of OPD, registration system, waiting time for consultation, comfort and cleanliness of service area, waiting area and overall time duration given by doctors and behaviour of supporting staffs. However at secondary and territory level major causes found were inadequate OPD timings, mismanaged registration procedure and longer waiting time to seek consultation.

Krupal Joshi et al 2103, conducted a cross sectional study on patients who visit the outpatient department in a civil hospital at Gujarat and it found that 68% study participates opinioned that arrival to hospital and consultation by physician was too long. In pharmacy service almost all the patients was found to be satisfactory in availing drugs.

Nirmalya Manna et al 2013 conducted a cross sectional study on patient satisfaction among outpatients in a hospital at West Bengal. As per the study good satisfaction was showed with respect to doctor services, laboratory services and with the pharmacy

Arvind Sharma1 et al 2014 conducted a cross-sectional study which was carried out among patients attending outpatient department of tertiary care hospital, MadyaPradesh to assess the patient satisfaction regarding the services provided in outpatient departments. Majority of the patients were satisfied with availability of services, professional care, waiting time, behaviour of consultant, nurses, paramedical staff and other staff. With regard to waiting time, getting OPD slip has high satisfaction level along with time to reach consultation room. Half of the respondents are satisfied with the getting medicine from pharmacy department. Most of the patients told that 56% of consultants take less than 5 min. for examination and 34% take 5- 15 min.

A study was done by Clifford Bluestein et al 2014 to analyse the impact of waiting time on patient satisfaction scores. The results shows that there is an association between longer waiting time and patient satisfaction are negatively associated. The longer waiting time for availing services have negative impact on patient satisfaction and confidence on care providers.

KS Prasanna et al 2015 conducted a cross sectional study on the Outpatient Department of a medical college at Mangalore regarding the services provided in the OPD. The study focussed were in terms of clinical care, availability of services, waiting time. It is found that mean time required for consultation was 46.5 ± 20.9 min. Clinical care was found to be more satisfied by the respondent. Dissatisfaction were mostly reported with the waiting time in pharmacy for receiving drugs But when the time spent in pharmacy was analysed, it was considered that it was not significantly satisfactory.

Ranjeeta Kumari, MZ Idris et al 2015, conducted a study among all the modern health facilities of Lucknow district at the tertiary level, secondary level, and the primary level. Its main objective is to determine the areas of dissatisfaction among the patients and suggest methods for improvement. Average waiting time in a territory hospital were 30 min. Accessibility of service was another concern for 42% patients.64%reported satisfied with duration of staying OPD, regarding signboard 46.6% reported as satisfied.


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Patient satisfaction is an important and commonly used indicator for measuring the quality in health care. Patient satisfaction affects clinical outcomes, patient retention, and medical malpractice claims. It affects the timely, efficient, and patient-centred delivery of quality health care.

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