Author(s): Roslinah A, Azman AB, Roslan Johari MG, Noriah B, Rohani I
Contact time was defined as the time spent by health personnel with a patient. The study was conducted for four months in 2007 to assess the contact time and to determine the appropriate contact time as perceived by patients attending clinics of various clinical disciplines as well as Out-Patient Departments and Emergency Departments at Ministry of Health Hospitals. This study was a cross-sectional study carried out on out-patients who came to the hospitals’ clinics for treatment. Information was gathered through self-administered questionnaires, distributed at twenty-one hospitals. The respondents were selected using stratified random sampling method. Out of 21,750 questionnaires distributed, 13,463 patients responded, a response rate of 61.9%. This study shows that the average contact time increases from small hospitals (8 minutes) to bigger hospitals (15 minutes). The contact time also varies between the clinics of various disciplines. Obstetrics and Gynecology (O&G) clinics and Pediatric clinics had the longest average contact time of 20 minutes and 15 minutes respectively. The percentage of patients who were satisfied with the contact time corresponded with the type of clinics and hospitals which had the longest contact time. Thus, it is suggested that clinics and hospitals, whenever possible try their best to follow the duration of contact time as perceived appropriate by the patients.