Volume 6, Issue 2 (Spring 2020)                   JCCNC 2020, 6(2): 117-124 | Back to browse issues page

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Nazem H, Raeis Abdollahi H, Mirzaei A. Investigation of the Gap Between Patients’ Perceptions and Expectations of Hospital Service Quality. JCCNC 2020; 6 (2) :117-124
URL: http://jccnc.iums.ac.ir/article-1-200-en.html
1- School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2- Department of Health Services Management, North Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran. Iran.
3- Department of Health Care Managment, Tehran Medical Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran. , amacademic@yahoo.com
Abstract:   (1952 Views)
Background: Health care services are costly and complex and provide facilities that significantly affect the economy and quality of life of individuals. In this study, we determined the gap between patients’ expectations and perceptions of hospital service quality to provide reference data for creating strategies to improve health care quality.
Methods: In this descriptive cross-sectional study, five private hospitals in Tehran were selected. Using a simple random sampling method, 110 patients were recruited and voluntarily responded to the standard service quality (SERVQUAL) model questionnaire. Data were analyzed by the K-S test, t-test, and paired t-test using SPSS V. 23.
Results: The results showed that among the quality of health care components, the highest mean was related to the responsiveness (M=3.89) and the least was related to the tangible dimension (M=3.11). The lowest average quality gap (perceived service and expected service) was seen in the responsiveness dimension (2.96 and 3.28) and followed by reliability (2.66 and 3.90), tangible (2.53 and 3.91), empathy (1.36, 3.19), and assurance dimensions (2.39 and 4.75).
Conclusion: The findings revealed a significant difference between the patients’ perceived and expected services, which indicates that the quality of services as perceived by patients was lower than their expectations. According to the findings, the assurance dimension had the greatest gap. To reduce or eliminate the existing gap, it is suggested that hospitals consider strategic and operational planning to improve hospitalization experience‏, quality of medical services, and hospital resources.
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● The quality of services as perceived by patients was lower than their expectations.
● The assurance dimension had the greatest gap.
● The responsiveness dimension had the lowest gap.
Plain Language Summary 
In this study, we examined the gap between perceptions and expectations of hospital service quality from the perspective of the patients referring to five private hospitals in Tehran. The lowest gap was observed in the responsiveness dimension, meaning that the patients had largely received the medical services they had expected. In other words, the patients believed that doctors and hospital staff are available at the time of their problems and are interested in a prompt resolution. Conversely, the greatest gap was observed in the assurance dimension. It means that the patients believed doctors and hospital staff do not have enough knowledge to help them and treat them with respect. In other words, the staff failed to create a sense of security and confidence in patients. It seems that holding briefings for staff on how to communicate with patients and keeping their dignity and conducting workshops and new diagnostic and therapeutic courses to provide services with the expected quality of patients will be effective in reducing the quality gap.

Type of Study: Applicable | Subject: Special
Received: 2019/02/15 | Accepted: 2020/07/23 | Published: 2020/05/1

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