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Patient satisfaction with healthcare delivery systems

Imad Baalbaki (American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon)
Zafar U. Ahmed (Prince Sultan University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Texas A&M University at Commerce, Commerce, Texas, USA)
Valentin H. Pashtenko (Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Virginia, USA)
Suzanne Makarem (Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing

ISSN: 1750-6123

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




The purpose of this paper is to provide insight, exploratory research, and support for the strategic use of hospital secondary support functions as an initial strategy for marketing healthcare, increasing patient volume, and expanding patient satisfaction.


This research paper is based upon longitudinal patient satisfaction and perception studies following both emergency room and elective‐stay hospitalization visits in Beirut. Exploratory statistical methods are used to examine substantial data comprising over 300 patient stays. Comprehensive information is presented which illustrates patient perceptions, their inflection points, and the importance of this knowledge in the marketing of hospitals and health care systems.


This research paper presents that patient perceptions are significantly influenced by hospital support functions. Further, these perceptions determine hospital reputation, influence future patient demands, and are integral to the understanding of patients as consumers of health care systems rather than consumers of medical procedures.

Practical implications

This paper provides support for health care system administrators who are often at odds with health care core service administrators and personnel with respect to long‐term hospital growth strategies. It illustrates that focusing on increasing core competencies is a short‐sighted approach to developing health care systems. It provides support for growing secondary support functions as being a more efficient means to increasing long‐term core competencies.


The originality of this paper is that it illustrates the conflict between the immediate medical care that health care systems understand to be their strategy and the strategies that truly grow hospital health care systems. It illustrates the paradox that requires hospitals to focus upon secondary support functions rather than core competencies in order to market themselves using strategies consistent with long‐term growth.



Baalbaki, I., Ahmed, Z.U., Pashtenko, V.H. and Makarem, S. (2008), "Patient satisfaction with healthcare delivery systems", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 47-62.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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