Patients complain about waiting times and food quality in survey

Cai Wenjun
Waiting times for outpatient checkups and food for hospitalized patients drew the most complaints in a survey on patient satisfaction released today.
Cai Wenjun

Waiting times and toilets in outpatient departments of local public hospitals have vastly improved over the past five years, however, waiting times for outpatient checkups and food for hospitalized patients drew the most complaints in a survey on patient satisfaction released today.

In the annual survey, patient satisfaction related to waiting times increased by 12 percent and toilet hygiene by 10 percent from 2016 to 2020.

Thanks to various reservation systems like apps, WeChat, Alipay, telephone and on-site processes, about 62 percent of outpatient appointments were made by reservations last year, almost twice as many as the previous year, according to the Shanghai Medical Ethos Association, which conducted the survey.

The association teamed up with Fudan University’s School of Public Health to study nearly 20,000 patients and families from 107 public hospitals.

Among the 3,708 patients who made reservations for outpatient checkups for things like gastroscopies, colonoscopies, CT scans and MRIs, 83.5 percent said they were able to schedule an appointment within seven days, 10.36 percent within seven to 13 days and 1.83 percent had to wait more than 21 days.

“Speeding up waiting times for checkups and allowing patients to receive faster service, diagnoses and treatments are important ways to improve service quality and patient satisfaction,” said Xue Di of Fudan University, the survey's leading expert.

Only 73.56 percent of hospitalized patients were satisfied with the quality of the food they received. The association is encouraging public hospitals to provide more diverse menus and higher quality food to patients, especially the elderly and children.

Officials from the Shanghai Health Commission said they will pass along the results of the survey to public hospitals in order to make modifications in line with patients’ feedback.

Patients complain about waiting times and food quality in survey
Ti Gong

A staff member conducts a patient satisfaction survey at a public hospital in Shanghai.

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