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Does the Quality of Healthcare Services Influence Patients’ Clinic Choice?

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Patient Experience, Patient Safety

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Healthcare service quality encompasses a broad range of elements, from the technical competence of healthcare professionals and the standard of hospital facilities to the efficacy of treatment procedures and the communication between healthcare providers and patients. This article explores how the quality of healthcare services influences patients’ decisions when choosing clinics.

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Definition of Service Quality

To begin with, it might be helpful to define “service quality” in general terms as a starting basis for our understanding. Management authors proposed service quality as ‘the degree and direction of discrepancy between consumer’s perceptions and expectations’. Service quality in hospitals is a multifaceted concept that significantly impacts patient satisfaction, patient safety, and health outcomes. Besides, having a positive patient satisfaction outcome also builds trust between the healthcare provider and the patient.

The Impact of Service Quality on Patient Choice

Research has consistently highlighted a strong correlation between service quality in healthcare and patient satisfaction, underscoring the critical role of service quality as a determinant of patient perceptions and experiences. 

For instance, a study to determine what influences adult patients to rate their overall experience as “excellent” revealed that staff care is the most influential attribute, followed by nursing care. These two attributes are distinctively stronger drivers of overall satisfaction than are the other attributes studied (i.e., physician care, admission process, room, and food).

An Enhanced Patient Experience Outcome Benefits Patients and Providers

A 2022 survey by KPMG UK’s Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) research programme for National Health Service (NHS) reveals that empathy, kindness and professionalism of frontline NHS staff were shown to be the biggest contributory factor to a positive patient experience, which aids in the balance of its (and any hospital’s) existing resource pressures whilst also delivering a world-class experience.

A study in Malaysia to assess patient experience of inpatient care and services at a teaching hospital using HCAHPS (the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey – a standardised survey instrument and data collection methodology), revealed that patients who had positive experiences are most likely to rate the teaching hospital as high quality.

For a better understanding on how doctor-patient communication can affect the quality of healthcare services received, readers might consider exploring an article on doctor-patient communication. Should patients find the quality of healthcare services inadequate, they have the option to seek a second opinion from specialist doctors to gain a clearer insight into their medical condition.

The quality of healthcare service provided to patients is significant as it not only determines the effectiveness of care but also impacts patient satisfaction, outcomes, and overall healthcare system efficiency and perceived quality. In light of this context, it is highly beneficial for hospitals and clinics to continuously work towards closing the service gaps between what patients expect from their healthcare providers and the actual services they receive, by adopting a holistic approach that places the patient at the centre of care.

 

This article was produced solely for the purpose of healthcare and medical knowledge. Not all innovations are available or approved for clinical use. AsiaMD may receive financial or non-financial sponsorship from the companies or institutions involved in these innovations. However, AsiaMD does not endorse any specific product or services in the article, in addition to the Terms and Conditions for the use of our AsiaMD.com website. Please consult your healthcare professional if you need more information.

 

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