Patient satisfaction

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In health care, patient satisfaction is "the degree to which the individual regards the health care service or product or the manner in which it is delivered by the provider as useful, effective, or beneficial."[1]

This is a component of the physician-patient relationship. However, in health care delivery, patient satisfaction may conflict with quality of care. One study found "in a nationally representative sample, higher patient satisfaction was associated with less emergency department use but with greater inpatient use, higher overall health care and prescription drug expenditures, and increased mortality.". [2] Similarly, academic teaching hospitals may provide better outcomes than private hospitals, but patients are more satisfied with private hospitals.[3] For another example, in low back pain patients may have more satisfaction with increased use of diagnostic tests even though the diagnostic tests do not improve health care delivery.[4]

Physicians, who work in settings that use incentives based on patient satisfaction are more likely to order diagnostic imaging.[5]


  1. Anonymous (2023), Patient satisfaction (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  2. Fenton JJ, Jerant AF, Bertakis KD, Franks P (2012). "The Cost of Satisfaction: A National Study of Patient Satisfaction, Health Care Utilization, Expenditures, and Mortality.". Arch Intern Med. DOI:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.1662. PMID 22331982. Research Blogging.
  3. Shahian DM, Nordberg P, Meyer GS, Blanchfield BB, Mort EA, Torchiana DF et al. (2012). "Contemporary performance of U.S. teaching and nonteaching hospitals.". Acad Med 87 (6): 701-8. DOI:10.1097/ACM.0b013e318253676a. PMID 22534588. Research Blogging.
  4. Deyo, Richard A. (2009-05-25). "Imaging Idolatry: The Uneasy Intersection of Patient Satisfaction, Quality of Care, and Overuse". Arch Intern Med 169 (10): 921-923. DOI:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.124. Retrieved on 2009-05-26. Research Blogging.
  5. Pham, Hoangmai H.; Bruce E. Landon, James D. Reschovsky, Beny Wu, Deborah Schrag (2009-05-25). "Rapidity and Modality of Imaging for Acute Low Back Pain in Elderly Patients". Arch Intern Med 169 (10): 972-981. DOI:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.78. Retrieved on 2009-05-26. Research Blogging.