Patient Satisfaction as Part of Quality Assurance in E-Health

Patient Satisfaction as Part of Quality Assurance in E-Health

Athina A. Lazakidou (University of Peloponnese, Greece), Stamatia Ilioudi (University of Peloponnese, Greece) and Maria Tsironi (University of Peloponnese, Greece)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/ijrqeh.2012010101
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Abstract

Health care is characterized by complex and interrelated processes. E-health promises to provide efficient national medical markets, service at all hours and the consistent integration of products and services. It can also be used to better patient physician relationships as web sites can be used to deliver information directly to consumers. Systematic measurement of patient satisfaction is seldom included in routine quality assurance (QA) programs. Practical reasons have been given to explain this omission: the mental and physical state of patients, their lack of the necessary scientific and technical knowledge, the rapid pace of events of care, and methodological problems related to measuring patient satisfaction. Quality medical information should be provided, which should not be marred by provider self interest. Quality assurance is of prime importance and it is necessary to make sure that, sites providing medical advice, drug manufacturers, and health insurers all associated with medicine deliver high quality services so that the consumers are satisfied. Measuring quality can also help organizations monitor their progress toward public health goals and become more accountable to both the populations they serve and policy makers.
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Challenges And Expectations Facing A Health Sector

Throughout the world, health sectors are faced with numerous challenges and expectations that affect their healthcare systems. The following are some of the common challenges (Commission of the European Communities, 2004, p. 5):

  • The increasing demand for health and social services, due to an ageing population, higher income and educational levels,

  • The rise in expectations of citizens who want the best care available and reduced inequalities in access to good healthcare,

  • The increasing mobility of patients and health professionals within a better functioning internal market,

  • The need to reduce the 'disease burden', and to respond to emerging disease risks,

  • The difficulties public authorities encounter in matching investment in technology with investment in the complex organizational changes needed to exploit its potential,

  • The need to limit occupational accidents and diseases, to reinforce wellbeing at work and to address new forms of work-related diseases,

  • The management of massive amounts of health information, which must be accessible, securely stored, available in a timely manner when needed and processed efficiently for administrative and clinical purposes,

  • The need to provide the best possible healthcare under limited budgetary conditions.

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