Telephone consultation services in Saudi Arabia: utilization pattern and satisfaction among health care providers and consumers
Keywords:: telephone consultations; satisfaction; healthcare providers; consumers; Saudi Arabia
AbstractBackground The use of telephone consultation services has been recently introduced in Saudi Arabia through Seha Mobile Application (Seha App) and Medical Consultation Call Center (937). Existing literature provides evidence that public satisfaction with such services is high while health care providers find it stressful and difficult. Aim To determine the utilization pattern of telephone consultation services in Saudi Arabia and appraise the level of satisfaction towards this services among health care providers and consumers. Methodology A cross-sectional study was undertaken at the Medical Consultation Call Center, Saudi Arabia. The health reports for the period January to June 2018 were reviewed to determine the utilization pattern. Data regarding the satisfaction of health care providers was collected through an online questionnaire and data on satisfaction of consumers was collected through telephone interviews from June to August 2018. Results Telephone consultation services are increasingly being utilized by the Saudi population. Most consumers were highly satisfied with the service, mostly with the ability of health care providers to interact with the callers, the length, waiting time and outcome of consultation. Similarly, most of health care providers were generally satisfied with the service. Conclusion The study recommended introducing an array of specialties and training of health care providers to create a supportive environment and maintain adequate staffing levels.
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