Comparison of patient satisfaction in inpatient care provided by hospitalists and nonhospitalists in South Korea

Wonjeong Chae, Juyeong Kim, Eun Cheol Park, Sung In Jang

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Background: A Korean hospitalist is a medical doctor in charge of inpatient care during hospital stays. The purpose of this study is to examine the patient satisfaction of hospitalist patients compared to non-hospitalist patients. Patient satisfaction is closely related to the outcome, quality, safety, and cost of care. Thus, seeking to achieve high patient satisfaction is essential in the inpatient care setting. Design, setting, and participants: This is a case-control study based on patient satisfaction survey by the Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service. We measured patients’ satisfaction in physician accessibility, consultation and care service skills, and overall satisfaction through logistic regression analyses. A total of 3871 patients from 18 facilities responded to 18 ques-tionnaires and had health insurance claim data. Results: Hospitalist patients presented higher satisfaction during the hospital stay compared to non-hospitalist patients. For example, as per accessi-bility, hospitalist patients could meet their attending physician more than twice a day (OR: 3.46, 95% CI: 2.82–4.24). Concerning consultation and care service skills, hospitalists’ explanations on the condition and care plans were easy to understand (OR: 2.33, 95% CI: 1.89–2.88). Moreover, overall satisfaction was significantly higher (β: 0.431, p < 0.0001). Subgroup analyses were conducted by medical division and region. Hospitalist patients in the surgical department and the rural area had greater patient satisfaction in all aspects of the survey than non-hospitalist patients. Conclusions: Hospitalists’ patients showed higher satisfaction during the hospital stay. Our study discovered that hospitalists could provide high-quality care as they provide onsite care continuously from ad-mission to discharge.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8101
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a faculty research grant of Yonsei University College of medicine (6-217-0157 and 6-2018-0174) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2021R1G1A1010954).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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