Consumer satisfaction with tertiary healthcare in China: findings from the 2015 China National Patient Survey


This study aims to develop understanding of Chinese patient satisfaction with tertiary hospitals.


The study draws on data collected from the 2015 China National Patient Survey. A Likert five-point scale was used to formulate the questionnaires. Descriptive analysis and logistic regression analysis were conducted.


A structured questionnaire was used by 1432 interviewers to interview 27 475 outpatients and 19 938 inpatients in 136 tertiary hospitals from 31 provinces.


Outpatients in the dispensing area and inpatients in the discharging area were randomly interviewed.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Key domains of the questionnaire include the layout of service functions, environment maintenance, process management, quality of care, humane care and the patient–doctor relationship. Within each domain, several indicators were set, and each indicator was given a statement.


The overall satisfaction scores are 4.42 ± 0.68 and 4.67 ± 0.62 for outpatient and inpatient, respectively. The domains with highest satisfaction are ‘diagnosis and treatment’ for outpatient and ‘nursing care’ for inpatient. Outpatients were least satisfied with long waiting time, while inpatients were least satisfied with the food. The strongest predictor of overall satisfaction appears to be ‘patient–doctor relationship’ for both outpatients (OR = 3.53, 95% CI: 3.17–3.92) and inpatients (OR = 7.34, 95% CI: 5.55–9.70).


Chinese hospitals need to pay more attention to offering more humane care to patients, hospital environment and process management improvement, reducing waiting times for seeing doctors and outpatient testing, and improving amenity services such as better food in the wards.