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      Determinants of Patient Waiting Time in the General Outpatient Department of a Tertiary Health Institution in North Western Nigeria


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          The amount of time a patient waits to be seen is one factor which affects utilization of healthcare services. Patients perceive long waiting times as barrier to actually obtaining services and keeping patients waiting unnecessarily can be a cause of stress for both patient and doctor.


          This study was aimed at assessing the determinants of patients’ waiting time in the general outpatient department (GOPD) of a tertiary health institution in northern Nigeria.

          Subjects and Methods:

          This descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among new patients attending the GOPD of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, North Western Nigeria. A structured questionnaire was used to elicit information from 100 patients who were recruited into the study using a convenience sampling method. Data collected were entered and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 17; Chi-square test was used to compare differences between proportions with the level of statistical significance set at 5% ( P < 0.05).


          Sixty-one percent (59/96) of the respondents waited for 90-180 min in the clinic, whereas 36.1% (35/96) of the patients spent less than 5 min with the doctor in the consulting room. The commonest reason for the long waiting time in the GOPD was the large number of patients with few healthcare workers.


          There is an urgent need to increase the number of health workers in the GOPDs which serves as the gate way to the hospital if the aims of the Millennium Development Goals are to be realized.

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          Most cited references20

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          Heuristics for sample size determination in multivariate statistical techniques

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            What patients want: A content analysis of key qualities that influence patient satisfaction.

            We sought to identify key qualities of healthcare that influence patient appraisal of satisfaction with primary care. An Internet survey of patients was used to collect anonymous ratings of physicians on several dimensions of healthcare experiences, as well as comments about aspects of care that were excellent and those that could be improved. Qualitative data analysis was used to discern content clusters and relate them to high and low ratings of patient satisfaction. Content analysis revealed that patients perceive and value at least seven domains of healthcare in defining outstanding quality (access, communication, personality and demeanor of provider, quality of medical care processes, care continuity, quality of the healthcare facilities, and office staff. All seven were cited as reasons for rating physicians as excellent, while four domains (communication, care coordination, interpersonal skills, and barriers to access) drove negative ratings. We conclude that patient satisfaction ratings are highly influenced by a core of communication and follow-up care. Physicians who do not possess these traits will not likely attain high ratings, while having these core traits does not necessarily ensure high patient satisfaction.
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              Patients' perception and satisfaction with health care professionals at primary care facilities in Trinidad and Tobago.

              This paper endeavours to identify the background characteristics of health centre users in Trinidad and Tobago and their perceptions of the efficiency of the services provided. Multistage sampling was employed to select 1451 users. Data were obtained during structured interviews on regular clinic days. Of the people using the health centres, 80.4% were unemployed and 75.9% were women. People aged over 60 accounted for 25.4% of the sample. Users included a disproportionately high number of persons from the lower socioeconomic categories. The proportions of persons of different ethnic and religious groups closely reflected those in the country's general population. Approximately 74% of the interviewees were satisfied with the performance of the doctors in the health centres. For nurses the satisfaction rating was about 10% higher. The greatest needs for improvement were perceived to be in pharmacists' and doctors' services, with particular reference to waiting times.

                Author and article information

                Ann Med Health Sci Res
                Ann Med Health Sci Res
                Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                Oct-Dec 2013
                : 3
                : 4
                : 588-592
                [1] Department of Community Health, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Dr. H Adamu, Department of Community Health, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria. E-mail: habibullah_adamu@ 123456yahoo.com
                Copyright: © Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Article

                general outpatient department,patients,waiting time
                general outpatient department, patients, waiting time


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