60-573 / Nationwide standardised cross-sectional patient satisfaction survey in Austria

GOP Information
Organisation sharing the GOP
Related practices from PaSQ database
Austrian Institute for Quality in Healthcare


Patient surveys
Patient involvement
Methods for literacy and patient involvement
GOP Description
Implementation level
Clinical settings
The objective of the project was the development of a nationwide standardised patient questionnaire for the measurement of quality of care and furthermore the derivation of potentials for improvement.
Patients in hospitals
The whole project started with a national and international literature research to include relevant and already established patient questionnaires. Based on this research a concept was designed that described research questions, methods and timeframe of the project. The following development process of the questionnaire was divided into different steps. To follow the demand of a cross-sectional approach while also gaining data within the sectors it was decided to develop two kinds of questions. Basic questions (these questions can be used in each sector of health system) on the one hand and specific questions (they focus on selected conditions within the different health care sectors) on the other.
Following the innovative cross-sectional approach it was essential to concentrate on issues such as transitions between the different sectors of the health system and patient information. Because of the complexity of the whole project it was decided to start the development with a focus on the hospital sector.
Timeframe implementation
1 year
Implementation tools available
Questionnaire on Patient Satisfaction related to Quality of Care
Implementation cost
If you use the already developed questionnaire, the costs for implementation should be around one € per questionnaire.
Method used to measure the results
Due to political open points of discussion, the implementation in all Austrian hospitals had to be postponed. So the results have not been measured so far.
After the literature research it was pointed out that the cross-sectional and nationwide approach of the project was unique in this form as there is less experience in cross-sectional patient satisfaction surveys. Furthermore the focus on processes of care is innovative as most of the established patient satisfaction questionnaires mainly concentrate on structural topics such as accommodation, food and so on. The feedback of the stakeholders showed that there is much demand for such a questionnaire.
Analysis of the results
The cross-sectional national survey has provided new and interesting data which points out specific problems between and within the sectors in the health system.
The questionnaire provided data related to the following seven dimensions: overall satisfaction, staff, information, care within the hospital, transition processes and coordination.
In the future it is planned to give regular feedback to the participating institutions, containing benchmarking charts and interpretations. Long-term aim is to contribute to better patient satisfaction within and especially at transitions between the different sectors in our health system.
Implementation barriers
Did you find implementation barriers?
Please describe implementation barriers
In the political discussions, Austrian stakeholders insisted that the survey should not only be performed in hospitals, but also for patients of GPs etc. The legal and logistical questions as to how this should be done have not been decided yet.
Describe the strategies used to overcome the barriers (If needed)
We are in the process of developing a questionnaire for the outpatient sector as well.
Other information
Other information about the GOP that you would like to add (Link or attached document)
The pilot survey started in November 2009 in nine departments of six different hospitals. The pilot survey was finished in January 2010. It could not be implemented on a regular basis because of political discussions, but should be implemented in all hospital by next year.