Factors associated with the quality of outpatient service: The application of factor analysis - A case study
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Background: Measuring patient satisfaction is a key factor in assessing the quality of patient care. Patient satisfaction outcomes are affected by many variables. Identifying and analyzing effective factors related to patients' overall satisfaction constitutes an essential aspect of the study of modern healthcare. Aim: The aim of this study is to determine the factors vital to patients' satisfaction with outpatient service. Methods: A cross-sectional study design was carried out from April to June 2015, consisting of 945 patients in the outpatient services division of King Fahd Hospital of the Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University. Subjects were selected through the simple random sampling method, and data were collected using a structured questionnaire. The questionnaire was checked for validity and reliability using the Cronbach alpha coefficient and Reliability analysis. The factor analysis technique was used to find the most significant factors affecting patient satisfaction. Results: Exploratory factor analysis showed that the outpatients' satisfaction comprised four factors namely, professional care, availability of services, waiting time, and satisfaction of laboratory service. These four factors explained 82% of the total variance of patient satisfaction. Based on the results of the factor analysis, satisfaction with physician services and appointment service was identified as the most important aspects of overall satisfaction. Conclusion: Physician-related services, the waiting time for getting test reports, and the wait time for appointment are the major factors affecting patient satisfaction in the outpatient department. Hence, improving the quality of these factors will improve the overall quality of outpatient services for patients.