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Introduction to the Research Problem
The research question of whether there is a connection between rates of patient satisfaction and patient outcomes is of importance to current healthcare research. The issue is gaining notability as patient satisfaction is being used as a measure of hospital quality associated with the public reporting of the value and the increased connection between hospital scores and ratios of satisfaction. Thus, the hypothesis for the current research may be framed as such: within the healthcare context that focuses on quality deliverables as well as hospital scores as measures of quality, there is a possible connection between patient satisfaction rates and patient outcomes. Since numerous studies on the topic support the research question, it is expected that the current exploration will yield similar results.
Research Approach and Methodology
A quantitative approach to the research question will likely be more beneficial. Quantitative research implies the quantification of problems through the generation of numerical data or other data that can be subsequently transformed into useful statistics (Patten & Newhart, 2017). The approach is used for quantifying populations’ attitudes, behaviors, opinions, and other defined variables associated with the chosen research topic. Importantly, quantitative research allows generalizing study results from a larger sample population. Methods of quantitative data collection include different types of surveys, such as online, paper, mobile surveys, face-to-face interviews, phone interviews, online polls, systematic observations, and longitudinal studies. Therefore, a survey can represent the primary data collection method for the current research due to its convenience of implementation as well as a limited number of resources necessary. Also, surveys are easy and quick, which means that the sample population will show a higher response rate if compared to interviews.
Patients will represent the critical population of study as their health outcomes, and rates of satisfaction represent the main variables to be measured in the study. These patients have received care in at a hospital facility in the last several months and therefore, can remember their experiences and report them effectively. The most positive outcome of data collection would refer to surveying patients that have just been discharged from a hospital to ensure that their recollections are accurate and ‘fresh’ in memory. The characteristics of the sample include the age range between 18 and 65 years who have been discharged from a healthcare facility recently or in the last three months. Convenience sampling is the most likely method of selecting the population for the research because random selection will be sophisticated in its implementation. While being a non-probability method, “in many cases, it is impossible to include every subject because the population is finite” (Etikan, Musa, & Alkassim, 2016, p. 2). The selected approach will provide the researcher to selected non-random members of the target set of participants through their easy access, the geographical proximity to a scholar, their availability at a given time, as well as the desire to participate in research.
To conclude, the proposed research question offers multiple opportunities for further exploration. Through implementing a quantitative approach to studying the topic of patient satisfaction, it will be possible to reveal potential connections between the variable and individual outcomes. While convenience sampling may be a reasonable limitation due to its non-probability, it offers an effective method for finding likely research subjects that are willing to complete a survey.
Etikan, I., Musa, S., & Alkassim, R. (2016). Comparison of convenience sampling and purposive sampling. American Journal of Theoretical and Applied Statistics, 5(1), 1-4.
Patten, M., & Newhart, M. (2017). Understanding research methods (10th ed.), New York, NY: Routledge.