CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IN PUBLIC SERVICES: A STUDY ON 1025 CLIENTS (CUSTOMERS OR PATIENTS) OF AN ITALIAN NHS UNIT
 
Favretto, G. and Rappagliosi, C.M., Centro Docimologico Verona University, Avallone, F., Rome University "La Sapienza" and Bellotto, M., Verona University, Italy
 
The present study was designed to measure the customer satisfaction related to the admission to an NHS unit in the north of Italy. Preliminary work involved five focus groups with ward nurses of different departments, and a pilot study on 100 patients. The aim of this work was to prepare the research questionnaire. The questionnaire included 79 questions regarding all the aspects of patient's experience in the NHS unit during his/her stay. Critical responses were given on 10-point scales, varying from 1 (the lowest satisfaction) to 10 (the highest satisfaction). 1025 questionnaires were administered in six different departments. Results showed high values of customer satisfaction: all the items had a mean value above 7 and the overall mean value was of 8.75. The lowest degree of customer satisfaction regarded secondary services (bars, recreational spaces, vending machines). A comparison between the three moments of admission, stay and discharge showed that customer satisfaction regarding the discharge from the hospital had the highest mean value (9.01). A high customer satisfaction (mean value: 9.0) was also generated by interpersonal relationships with the health personnel. Moreover, results showed that customer satisfaction was (cor)related with the days of stay: the longer the stay, the higher the customer satisfaction. Most of the participants showed the intention to possibly return to the same department, in the same hospital, whilst only a few would possibly go to a private clinic. With the aim of continuously monitoring customer satisfaction for patient's stay, we are now administering a short version of the questionnaire, which was prepared using the software Lisrel and Rasch's models.