To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Hospital waiting time: the forgotten premise of healthcare service delivery?

Datuk Ir M. S. Pillay (Department of Research and Technical Support at the Ministry of Health, Malaysia)
Roslan Johari Dato Mohd Ghazali (Institute of Health Management, Ministry of Health, Malaysia)
Noor Hazilah Abd Manaf (Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences, International Islamic University, Malaysia)
Abu Hassan Asaari Abdullah (Head of Emergency Unit at the Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Ministry of Health, Malaysia)
Azman Abu Bakar (Institute of Health Management, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Faisal Salikin (Institute of Health Management, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Mathyvani Umapathy (Institute of Health Management, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Roslinah Ali (Institute of Health Management, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Noriah Bidin (Institute of Health Management, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Wan Ismefariana Wan Ismail (Institute of Health Management, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Article publication date: 6 September 2011

Downloads
4642

Abstract

Purpose

This is a national study which aims to determine the average waiting time in Malaysian public hospitals and to gauge the level of patient satisfaction with the waiting time. It also aims to identify factors perceived by healthcare providers which contribute to the waiting time problem.

Design/methodology/approach

Self‐administered questionnaires were the main method of data collection. Two sets of questionnaires were used. The first set solicited information from patients on their waiting time expereince. The second set elucidated information from hospital employees on the possible causes of lengthy waiting time. The questionnaires were administered in 21 public hospitals throughout all 13 states in Malaysia. A total of 13,000 responses were analysed for the patient survey and almost 3,000 were analysed for the employee survey.

Findings

The findings indicate that on average, patients wait for more than two hours from registration to getting the prescription slip, while the contact time with medical personnel is only on average 15 minutes. Employee surveys on factors contributing to the lengthy waiting time indicate employee attitude and work process, heavy workload, management and supervision problems, and inadequate facilities to be among the contributory factors to the waiting time problem.

Social implications

Public healthcare in Malaysia is in a state of “excess demand”, where demand for subsidised healthcare far outstrips supply, due to the large fee differential between public and private healthcare services. There is a need for hospital managers to reduce the boredom faced by patients while waiting, and to address the waiting time problem in a more scientific manner, as has been carried out in other countries through simulation and modelling techniques.

Originality/value

Healthcare organisations are keen to address their waiting time problem. However, not much research has been carried out in this area. The study thus fills the lacuna in waiting time studies in healthcare organisations.

Keywords

Citation

Ir M., D., Johari Dato Mohd Ghazali, R., Hazilah Abd Manaf, N., Hassan Asaari Abdullah, A., Abu Bakar, A., Salikin, F., Umapathy, M., Ali, R., Bidin, N. and Ismefariana Wan Ismail, W. (2011), "Hospital waiting time: the forgotten premise of healthcare service delivery?", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 24 No. 7, pp. 506-522. https://doi.org/10.1108/09526861111160553

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited