Policy & Measurement

The quantitative assessment of patient satisfaction in the COVID-19 epidemic compared to the epidemic-free period

Surveying patient satisfaction is considered an important part of any systematic program of quality assurance. Quality of healthcare service and patient satisfaction has been affected by the current COVID-19 epidemic. The purpose of the study was to determine how COVID-19 epidemic has affected patients in Slovenia as it is evident via permanently available questionnaire and from studying this data source to improve our response to future crises and to improve the resilience of healthcare systems. A secondary analysis of 12,756 completed questionnaires was performed via freely available patient satisfaction questionnaire in the period from October 2019 to June 2021. The number of completed questionnaires was significantly higher in the period before the COVID-19 outbreak than in the subsequent periods. Comparing COVID-19 period and epidemic-free period statistically significant differences in satisfaction assessment occurred in four variables. More patients recognized opportunities for improvement in the COVID-19 epidemic than in the epidemic-free period. This study can be upgraded with qualitative studies and implementation of systemic measures.