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Interrelationships among quality enablers, service quality, patients’ satisfaction and loyalty in hospitals

Ehsan Sadeh (Department of Management, Aliabad Katoul Branch, Islamic Azad University, Aliabad Katoul, Iran)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 9 January 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to clarify how enablers of quality management can secure the satisfaction and loyalty of patients through increasing service quality in hospitals.

Design/methodology/approach

The current study conducted a review of the existing literature to identify operational dimensions of the research variables. As a result of the review, 17 dimensions were identified; five European foundation for quality management enablers, five SERVQUAL service quality dimensions, four patients’ satisfaction elements and three patients’ loyalty components. To evaluate interrelationships among these 17 research dimensions, decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory technique was applied using experts’ opinions.

Findings

Several key relations were found among research dimensions. Research findings could provide a scientific insight for hospital managers to understand how they could increase the level of patients’ satisfaction and loyalty through high-quality services provided by quality management enablers.

Research limitations/implications

This study has been conducted based on the expert’s opinions from private hospitals located in Tehran and Alborz provinces, Iran. Although the results could be useful for hospital managers in different places and could provide them a valuable insight and knowledge, findings are limited to Iranian private hospitals.

Originality/value

It is taken for granted that patients’ satisfaction and loyalty could increase as a result of high-quality medical and treatment services in hospitals. On the other hand, offering excellent services meeting all the needs and expectations of customers could be consequence product of quality management enablers. Even though satisfaction and loyalty of customers, i.e. patients, is the primary target of quality management, there is little research in the literature as to how enablers of quality management can secure the satisfaction and loyalty through increasing service quality in hospitals. The gap is more critical because the specialized dimensions of four research variables have not been previously integrated into a coherent framework and interrelationships among them have not been studied and clarified in detail. The current study attempts to bridge this gap.

Keywords

Citation

Sadeh, E. (2017), "Interrelationships among quality enablers, service quality, patients’ satisfaction and loyalty in hospitals", The TQM Journal, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 101-117. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-02-2015-0032

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited