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The role of expectations in patients' hospital assessments: A Turkish university hospital example

Coskun Bakar (Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, Başkent University, Ankara, Turkey)
H. Seval Akgün (Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, Başkent University, Ankara, Turkey)
A.F. Al Assaf (College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA)

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Publication date: 18 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to conduct a preliminary assessment of patient attitudes regarding important aspects of service dimensions using SERVQUAL. Design/methodology/approach – The SERVQUAL scale is routinely used at the Baskent University Hospitals Network, Turkey. The study consisted of 550 randomly chosen patients who presented to any member of the hospital network during January and February 2006 and received treatment as inpatients or outpatients at those healthcare facilities.

Findings

The patients' perceived scores were higher than expected for an ordinary hospital but lower than expected for a high‐quality hospital. Young patients had a high‐expected service score gap and a low adequate service score difference. Highly educated patients had a high‐expected service score difference. Uninsured patients had a low adequate service score difference. Originality/value – Baskent University multidisciplinary healthcare teams have performed periodic patient satisfaction surveys in order to identify strengths and problem areas, formulate the quality improvement objectives and monitor progress towards achieving these objectives. However, patient satisfaction survey results are often highly positive. In these cases, improving care is not easy because measures are not sensitive enough to changes. Therefore a more sensitive measurement tool based on the SERVQUAL scale was developed. The authors believe that patient opinions are extremely important because they provide information that is not necessarily emphasized by managers or health care professionals, resulting in a more complete assessment of past performance and a clearer road map for future action.

Keywords

Citation

Bakar, C., Seval Akgün, H. and Al Assaf, A.F. (2008), "The role of expectations in patients' hospital assessments: A Turkish university hospital example", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 503-516. https://doi.org/10.1108/09526860810890477

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited