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Healthcare service quality: a methodology for servicescape re-design using Taguchi approach

Rejikumar G. (Department of Management, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, India)
Aswathy Asokan Ajitha (Department of Management, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India)
Malavika S. Nair (Department of Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering Trivandrum, Thiruvananthapuram, India)
Raja Sreedharan V. (Department of Management, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, India)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 13 June 2019

Issue publication date: 21 June 2019




The purpose of this paper is to identify major healthcare service quality (HSQ) dimensions, their most preferred service levels, and their effect on HSQ perceptions of patients using a Taguchi experiment.


This study adopted a sequential incidence technique to identify factors relevant in HSQ and examined the relative importance of different factor levels in the service journey using Taguchi experiment.


For HSQ, the optimum factor levels are online appointment booking facility with provision to review and modify appointments; a separate reception for booked patients; provision to meet the doctor of choice; prior detailing of procedures; doctor on call facility to the room of stay; electronic sharing of discharge summary, an online payment facility. Consultation phase followed by the stay and then procedures have maximum effect on S/N and mean responses of patients. The appointment stage has a maximum effect on standard deviations.

Research limitations/implications

Theoretically, this study attempted to address the dearth of research on service settings using robust methodologies like Taguchi experiment, which is popular in the manufacturing sector. The study implies the need for patient-centric initiatives for better HSQ through periodic experiments that inform about the changing priorities of patients.

Practical implications

The trade-off between standardization and customization create challenges in healthcare. Practically, a classification of processes based on standardization vs customization potential is useful to revamp processes for HSQ.


This study applied the Taguchi approach to get insights in re-designing a patient-centric healthcare servicescapes.



G., R., Asokan Ajitha, A., Nair, M.S. and Sreedharan V., R. (2019), "Healthcare service quality: a methodology for servicescape re-design using Taguchi approach", The TQM Journal, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 600-619.



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