Complaint handling in healthcare

Expectation gaps between physicians and the public. Results of a survey study

R.D. Friele, P.M. Reitsma, J.D. de Jong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

59 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background
Patients who submit complaints about the healthcare they have received are often dissatisfied with the response to their complaints. This is usually attributed to the failure of physicians to respond adequately to what complainants want, e.g. an apology or an explanation. However, expectations of complaint handling among the public may colour how they evaluate the way their own complaint is handled. This descriptive study assesses expectations of complaint handling in healthcare among the public and physicians. Negative public expectations and the gap between these expectations and those of physicians may explain patients’ dissatisfaction with complaints procedures.
Methods
We held two surveys; one among physicians, using a panel of 3366 physicians (response rate 57 %, containing all kinds of physicians like GP’s, medical specialist and physicians working in a nursing home) and one among the public, using the Dutch Healthcare Consumer Panel (n = 1422, response rate 68 %). We asked both panels identical questions about their expectations of how complaints are handled in healthcare. Differences in expectation scores between the public and the physicians were tested using non-parametric tests.
Results
The public have negative expectations about how complaints are handled. Physician’s expectations are far more positive, demonstrating large expectation gaps between physicians and the public.
Conclusions
The large expectation gap between the public and physicians means that when they meet because of complaint, they are likely to start off with opposite expectations of the situation. This is no favourable condition for a positive outcome of a complaints procedure. The negative public preconceptions about the way their complaint will be handled will prove hard to change during the process of complaints handling. People tend to see what they thought would happen, almost inevitably leading to a negative judgement about how their complaint was handled.
Keywords
Patient complaints Complaints handling Medical errors Patient satisfaction Medicine Communication Medical claims
Original languageEnglish
Article number529
JournalBMC Research Notes
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Nursing
Medicine
Color
Delivery of Health Care
Physicians
Communication
Surveys and Questionnaires
Medical Errors

Cite this

@article{bea6b9ce9f314602a4916186f7d793d2,
title = "Complaint handling in healthcare: Expectation gaps between physicians and the public. Results of a survey study",
abstract = "BackgroundPatients who submit complaints about the healthcare they have received are often dissatisfied with the response to their complaints. This is usually attributed to the failure of physicians to respond adequately to what complainants want, e.g. an apology or an explanation. However, expectations of complaint handling among the public may colour how they evaluate the way their own complaint is handled. This descriptive study assesses expectations of complaint handling in healthcare among the public and physicians. Negative public expectations and the gap between these expectations and those of physicians may explain patients’ dissatisfaction with complaints procedures.MethodsWe held two surveys; one among physicians, using a panel of 3366 physicians (response rate 57 {\%}, containing all kinds of physicians like GP’s, medical specialist and physicians working in a nursing home) and one among the public, using the Dutch Healthcare Consumer Panel (n = 1422, response rate 68 {\%}). We asked both panels identical questions about their expectations of how complaints are handled in healthcare. Differences in expectation scores between the public and the physicians were tested using non-parametric tests.ResultsThe public have negative expectations about how complaints are handled. Physician’s expectations are far more positive, demonstrating large expectation gaps between physicians and the public.ConclusionsThe large expectation gap between the public and physicians means that when they meet because of complaint, they are likely to start off with opposite expectations of the situation. This is no favourable condition for a positive outcome of a complaints procedure. The negative public preconceptions about the way their complaint will be handled will prove hard to change during the process of complaints handling. People tend to see what they thought would happen, almost inevitably leading to a negative judgement about how their complaint was handled.KeywordsPatient complaints Complaints handling Medical errors Patient satisfaction Medicine Communication Medical claims",
author = "R.D. Friele and P.M. Reitsma and {de Jong}, J.D.",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1186/s13104-015-1479-z",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
journal = "BMC Research Notes",
issn = "1756-0500",
publisher = "BioMed Central",

}

Complaint handling in healthcare : Expectation gaps between physicians and the public. Results of a survey study. / Friele, R.D.; Reitsma, P.M.; de Jong, J.D.

In: BMC Research Notes, Vol. 8, 529, 2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Complaint handling in healthcare

T2 - Expectation gaps between physicians and the public. Results of a survey study

AU - Friele, R.D.

AU - Reitsma, P.M.

AU - de Jong, J.D.

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - BackgroundPatients who submit complaints about the healthcare they have received are often dissatisfied with the response to their complaints. This is usually attributed to the failure of physicians to respond adequately to what complainants want, e.g. an apology or an explanation. However, expectations of complaint handling among the public may colour how they evaluate the way their own complaint is handled. This descriptive study assesses expectations of complaint handling in healthcare among the public and physicians. Negative public expectations and the gap between these expectations and those of physicians may explain patients’ dissatisfaction with complaints procedures.MethodsWe held two surveys; one among physicians, using a panel of 3366 physicians (response rate 57 %, containing all kinds of physicians like GP’s, medical specialist and physicians working in a nursing home) and one among the public, using the Dutch Healthcare Consumer Panel (n = 1422, response rate 68 %). We asked both panels identical questions about their expectations of how complaints are handled in healthcare. Differences in expectation scores between the public and the physicians were tested using non-parametric tests.ResultsThe public have negative expectations about how complaints are handled. Physician’s expectations are far more positive, demonstrating large expectation gaps between physicians and the public.ConclusionsThe large expectation gap between the public and physicians means that when they meet because of complaint, they are likely to start off with opposite expectations of the situation. This is no favourable condition for a positive outcome of a complaints procedure. The negative public preconceptions about the way their complaint will be handled will prove hard to change during the process of complaints handling. People tend to see what they thought would happen, almost inevitably leading to a negative judgement about how their complaint was handled.KeywordsPatient complaints Complaints handling Medical errors Patient satisfaction Medicine Communication Medical claims

AB - BackgroundPatients who submit complaints about the healthcare they have received are often dissatisfied with the response to their complaints. This is usually attributed to the failure of physicians to respond adequately to what complainants want, e.g. an apology or an explanation. However, expectations of complaint handling among the public may colour how they evaluate the way their own complaint is handled. This descriptive study assesses expectations of complaint handling in healthcare among the public and physicians. Negative public expectations and the gap between these expectations and those of physicians may explain patients’ dissatisfaction with complaints procedures.MethodsWe held two surveys; one among physicians, using a panel of 3366 physicians (response rate 57 %, containing all kinds of physicians like GP’s, medical specialist and physicians working in a nursing home) and one among the public, using the Dutch Healthcare Consumer Panel (n = 1422, response rate 68 %). We asked both panels identical questions about their expectations of how complaints are handled in healthcare. Differences in expectation scores between the public and the physicians were tested using non-parametric tests.ResultsThe public have negative expectations about how complaints are handled. Physician’s expectations are far more positive, demonstrating large expectation gaps between physicians and the public.ConclusionsThe large expectation gap between the public and physicians means that when they meet because of complaint, they are likely to start off with opposite expectations of the situation. This is no favourable condition for a positive outcome of a complaints procedure. The negative public preconceptions about the way their complaint will be handled will prove hard to change during the process of complaints handling. People tend to see what they thought would happen, almost inevitably leading to a negative judgement about how their complaint was handled.KeywordsPatient complaints Complaints handling Medical errors Patient satisfaction Medicine Communication Medical claims

U2 - 10.1186/s13104-015-1479-z

DO - 10.1186/s13104-015-1479-z

M3 - Article

VL - 8

JO - BMC Research Notes

JF - BMC Research Notes

SN - 1756-0500

M1 - 529

ER -