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Abstract

Patient experience measurement has become a basic requirement for every healthcare provider organization. Yet, when the timing and mode of survey administration are considered, there is skepticism about the usefulness of ‘after- visit’ patient experience surveys to measure satisfaction and identify opportunities to improve service or health care quality. The aim of this observational study was to compare patient satisfaction among those who rated the patient experience at the conclusion of their outpatient appointment while still in the office, to that among those who rated the patient experience up to one month after their outpatient appointment via a mailed survey. Two sampling strategies were used to collect patient experience data from patients of the University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine practice: a postal survey to collect data from patients approximately 30 days after their visit (the After-Visit survey), and a within-visit survey to collect data from patients during their visit (the In-Visit survey). Nineteen survey questions measured comparable constructs between the After-Visit and In-Visit. This study did not find any significant differences between the data sources for any of these questions. The study showed that patient satisfaction could be assessed within a visit or by mail 30 days later without a statistically significant effect on mean responses.

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