Determining the differences between patients’ and employees’ perceptions and expectations of quality of service in outpatient departments in Kiambu County Public Hospitals
Maina, Stephen Mwangi
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The demand for effective healthcare within the Kenyan population has continued to rise making it hard for the government to provide sufficient health care services. Despite the on-going reform effort, the majority of the people in many counties still have limited access to quality health services. Living in the world of information and technology, patients are now more aware of their needs and rights. Health is a social good and needs public participation, including proper allocation of resources responding to public needs. In order for the health sector to meet the given public needs, it needs to change in line with the changing needs of the customers, this can only be met if these needs are determined by use of the surveys which ensure that the healthy sector offer quality services. The objective of this study was to determine the differences between patients’ and employees’ perceptions and expectations of quality of customer service in an outpatient department in 3 public Kiambu County hospitals, Kenya. The study was conducted in Kiambu County. SPSS (version 20) was used to analyze the study’s data. Basic descriptive statistics was done. The data was analyzed through percentages, frequencies, mean, standard deviation and Chi-Square test and the findings were presented in tables, graphs and narratives for easy comparisons and understanding to the readers. The study revealed that there is difference in patients and employees’ perception of quality of service at the hospitals. Patients don’t expect much from the treatment facilities though hospital staff perceives these facilities to affect the quality of service offered to a great extent. Both patients and employees’ opinion on the effect of customer care related factors on service quality are moderate. Patients in public hospitals don’t expect much of customer care services from the employees hence they perceive it as affecting service quality to moderate extent. Patients view the effect of medical care related factors on service quality as moderate while employees view it as very great. Patients appreciate medical care while employees view it as not enough. The study recommends that the county government of Kiambu should strive to improve quality of patient service in all hospitals under their management. This can be enhanced through provision of physical facilities in order enhance patient satisfaction. Periodic assessments should be consistently carried out to determine the physical state of each hospital and appropriate measures taken as per the report, the county government needs also to ensure consistent supply of basic hospital amenities in order to enhance the quality of health care provision. Patients should also be sensitized on the kind of customer service to expect from public hospitals.