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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19-25

Waiting time and clients satisfaction: An assessment of quality of care in Lafia Nasarawa State Nigeria

1 Department of Community Medicine, Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
2 Department of Anatomy, Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria
4 Department of Paediatrics, Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. S O Bello
Department of Paediatrics, Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, Nasarawa State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njhs.njhs_11_21

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Background: Waiting time is a significant feature in defining the quality of care. In a competitive health-care setting, long waiting time of patients in an outpatient department (OPD) badly affects the clients' satisfaction and the Hospitals reputation for patronage. This study sought to determine the patients' waiting time, satisfaction and their relationship in Lafia Nasarawa State. Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study amongst clients accessing care at the OPD of Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia. Interviewer-administered questionnaire was administered to participants recruited consecutively over 6 weeks' period. De-identifiers were used to maintain privacy and confidentiality of data. The analysis was done using SPSS version 23. Patients waiting time in each unit, the cumulative time spent before accessing care and clients' satisfaction were evaluated. Correlation coefficient was determined. Significant P < 0.05. Results: Of the 783 participants, 61.7% waited for over an hour before seeing a doctor. More than half (50.6%) of these were on follow-up visits. 66.3% and 73.4% were satisfied with the care received at reception and the overall hospital services, respectively. Others were 66.4%, 81.0%, 84.4% and 81.3% satisfaction at the record, nursing, consulting room and pharmacy units, respectively. A third was dissatisfied with the long waiting. Reasons for the long waiting were; large patients turn-out, long folders search/poor record keeping, inadequate personnel and late arrival of doctors. Patients' satisfaction was significantly influenced by the waiting time across all units P < 0.001. Conclusions: Although the waiting period in this study seems long, there is a high level of satisfaction with the health-care services across units with a third of the responders dissatisfied with the long waiting time. Large patients, poor record keeping delaying folders retrieval, inadequate personnel and late arrival of doctors were reasons for the long waiting. Short waiting is associated with satisfaction. An appointment system, electronic record, training and retraining are recommended.

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