Introduction: The system of production and distribution of meals can have a significant impact on the food intake of hospital patients who are likely to develop malnutrition. In hospitals, the consequences of food borne infections can range from annoying to life-threatening for a patient, since they can lead up to death in vulnerable groups. Aim: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the satisfaction of the patients from the food services in Greek hospitals. Methods: Eleven hospitals of the Attica region were chosen. The sample derived from 637 adult patients who were hospitalized in those hospitals, during the period September 2009 - April 2010. Tailor made questionnaires were used to interview patients upon their satisfaction from the current food service system as well as from the total quality management system of the hospital. The number of completed questionnaires was proportional to the hospital capacity. Results: The majority of the patients seem to be pleased from the quality and the variety of the meals; they judged positively the behaviour of the food service personnel and the hygiene of serving conditions. Patients made suggestions for more frequent meals, larger variety of choices and better presented meals served under proper hygiene conditions by the personnel. Conclusions: The results indicate that the patients are satisfied in regards to the meal choices and the serving methods. However, factors like temperature and hygiene conditions are not always perceived to be in a way that fulfils the necessary prerequisite requirements. A total quality management system as a driver for better patient satisfaction is Indispensable.
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