|Year : 2012 | Volume
| Issue : 9 | Page : 411
Starting on the path to high patient satisfaction with health care in India
Independent Health Economist, Royston, United Kingdom
|Date of Web Publication||14-Sep-2012|
Independent Health Economist, Royston
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Barham L. Starting on the path to high patient satisfaction with health care in India. North Am J Med Sci 2012;4:411
Focusing on patients might seem obvious in health care yet there remain patients who tell stories of not being involved, or only involved in a tokenistic way. There is evidence that, in the past, developing countries have not focused on patients' perceptions of health services (described as being 'largely ignored').  Developing and applying measures that help us all to focus on the patient, their health and their experience of health care, is a rich vein of research that has the potential to aid a variety of typo that vex clinicians, managers, and policy makers. Such data can help provide insights relevant to, for example:
- Improving service delivery within individual clinical units (e.g., wards with the hospital).
- Improving service delivery by benchmarking with others (e.g., whether there are some providers who systematically score highly, which could allow a deeper dive as to why that is, which could support improvement in poorly scoring providers).
- Allow exploration of ways to incentivise improved satisfaction rates (e.g., initial scores are needed to set a baseline if there is to be some form of payment by results).
And there are likely to be more uses are in development, or emerge, as research continues in this area.
Kumar et al.'s first work  on patient satisfaction of patients in a private tertiary hospital in India is a welcome addition to the broader evidence base on patient experience. It demonstrates a focus on developing tools that are fit for the local context, and although there are improvements needed (for example, making a clear distinction between health outcomes versus satisfaction as these are linked but different concepts), it is a start that helps understand what can be practically delivered in the private tertiary hospital setting in India. It also usefully considers different components of the patients experience: different professionals and the environment, for example. That means it will give insights about where to focus attention where satsifaction is lower lending itself to real practical steps that can be taken to improve.
Kumar et al.'s work should spur on future work to contribute to the knowledge base. There are many directions that this could take including how satisfaction correlates to health outcomes which can build on insights already available from the literature.  It could also contribute to an increasing evidence base on how satisfaction measures can be successfully used to support service and policy development across countries. 
| References|| |
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