Patient satisfaction is the population aged 15 and over who have received health services in the past year and rated their satisfaction level as either “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” . Health services in this definition include: overall health care services; hospital care; physician care; community-based care; and telephone health line or tele-health services . Patient satisfaction is an important measure of people’s experiences with the health care system. It is also recognized as a measure of effectiveness of provider-patient communication  and quality of care. In addition, patient satisfaction is associated with better compliance with medical advice . According to the 2005 National Population Health Survey (NPHS), approximately 85% of Canadians receiving health care in the past year reported that they were satisfied with the services received .
There are several domains of patient satisfaction including interpersonal aspects, technical quality, access, and/or physical facilities. Usually satisfaction with interpersonal aspects is highest, while satisfaction with access is lowest; however, this varies by setting and expectations. For example, an Ontario study found that patients were more satisfied with interpersonal aspects in family practices and walk-in clinics compared to emergency departments . In terms of wait times, patients are not dissatisfied with a wait of one month for a specialist appointment. However, access to primary care is expected to be more timely . In addition, patients with chronic diseases are less satisfied with access to physician appointments and tend to have higher expectations for timely access.