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Healthcare matching: conditions for developing a new service system

Lars Nordgren (Department of Service Management, Lund University, Lund, Sweden)

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences

ISSN: 1756-669X

Article publication date: 18 October 2011




The purpose of this paper is to outline the conditions for a new service system in healthcare, which will be able to match the available capacity in and between healthcare units, in order to match the need of care for the patients.


By drawing on statements from patients, experiences from similar services (a literature review), empirical research into the effects of the reforms on free choice and the care guarantee and a theoretically informed discussion drawing on value‐creation and service productivity, it is claimed that a matching system is needed to be developed.


As healthcare lacks incentives and structures of matching capacity between various care providers, and for coordinating episodes of care for the patient, the result is management of capacity that is difficult and uncertain for patients. Continuity and coordination during all the healthcare process are seen as important values by patients. It is valuable for patients to be matched in the coordination of contacts with providers and specialists.

Practical implications

Healthcare matching generates the supportive data for innovative service research. For management, it could be applicable in different organisational areas, for patients in their choices of provider and for the providers, when matching the needs for patients. In further research, it would be of value to discuss the barriers of matching.


Outlining the conditions for a service system, healthcare matching, has not been done before.



Nordgren, L. (2011), "Healthcare matching: conditions for developing a new service system", International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 304-318.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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