Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Health Services and Policy Management

First Advisor

Rajendra Singh


The role of frontline staff (FLS) is vital to the success of health delivery organizations as they are often the main point of patient contact and the primary source of feedback regarding the patient experience and satisfaction. Anecdotal evidence suggests that FLS have among the highest turnover rates in health delivery organizations, resulting in high recruitment and training costs as well as disruptions in day-to-day operations. However, few studies have examined the role of FLS and the factors affecting job satisfaction among FLS. Researchers have also not examined the impact of FLS satisfaction on patient satisfaction. To address these research gaps, this study examines the level of job satisfaction among FLS, the factors affecting FLS job satisfaction, and if there is a relationship between FLS job satisfaction and patient satisfaction. The study focuses on community health centers (CHCs) as they play a critical role as a safety net provider providing services to millions of individuals in medically underserved communities and vulnerable populations. Initial survey data was collected from existing patient satisfaction surveys conducted by CHCs in South Carolina. A second crosssectional survey created for this study examined the job satisfaction of FLS in the participating CHCs. The results indicate that although the level of satisfaction of FLS varied across the CHCs, the majority of FLS reported less than optimal job satisfaction. All of the job factors examined in the study were found to be significantly associated with FLS level of job satisfaction. FLS were found to be dissatisfied with pay, benefits, advancement opportunities, recognition, and appreciation. Interestingly, there was no significant relationship found between patient satisfaction and job satisfaction among FLS. The study findings provide insight into how health care organizations, especially CHCs, might reduce FLS turnover, which can lead to improved staff satisfaction and more stable practice operations.

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