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Explaining Patient Satisfaction With Outpatient Care Using Data-Based Nurse Staffing Indicators

Salin, Sirpa PhD, RN; Kaunonen, Marja PhD, RN; Aalto, Pirjo PhD, RN

Journal of Nursing Administration: December 2012 - Volume 42 - Issue 12 - p 592–597
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e318274b564

OBJECTIVE: This article examines the associations of nursing intensity, work environment intensity, and nursing resources with patient satisfaction with outpatient care in a university hospital in Finland.

BACKGROUND: While readily available in hospital information systems, data-based nurse staffing indicators have not been maximized in ambulatory nursing management and leadership.

METHODS: Data were analyzed using descriptive and multivariate statistical methods.

RESULTS: Patient satisfaction scores reached target levels at all measurements in 42% of the outpatient departments. The risk of low satisfaction scores was higher when patients received no information about their visits or their illness. Patient dissatisfaction increased linearly with the number of repeat visits.

CONCLUSIONS: The patients were predominantly satisfied with the outpatient care. Better access to information improved patient satisfaction. Attention should be directed to the content of information in patient repeat visits.

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Author Affiliations: Project Leader (Dr Salin) and Chief Director of Nursing (Dr Aalto), Pirkanmaa Hospital District; Principal Lecturer (Dr Salin), Tampere University of Applied Sciences; and Professor in Nursing Science (Dr Kaunonen), School of Health Sciences, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland.

This study was funded by the National Development Plan for Social and Health Care Services (Kaste Programme 2008-2011) and the Pirkanmaa Hospital District.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Salin, Tampere University of Applied Sciences. Kuntokatu 3, FI-33520 Tampere, Finland (

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© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.