A Study of inpatient service quality at Ladnan hospital
Muriuki, Hiram Kimari
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The quality of health services in many countries, especially developing and Third World countries has become a pressing issue, leading to patients always looking for a hospital with better quality of health care services. The objectives of the study were to assess patients’ service quality expectations of healthcare and their perceptions towards the quality of healthcare that they received were investigated. The objectives were addressed through undertaking a case study at Ladnan hospital, whereby SERVQUAL framework was used as a tool for measuring service quality. To achieve this aim, descriptive research design was adopted while the target population was 60 in-patients. The study applied convenience sampling in selecting the sample. Data was collected using questionnaires and analyzed using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. SERVQUAL framework was used as a tool for analysis. The study found that Ladnan Hospital had adopted healthcare services quality dimensions: tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy. It emerged that, the patients’ expectations exceeded their perceptions regarding the quality factors, and gap between patients’ expectations and perceptions was statistically significant with tangibility having the highest gap score while responsiveness and assurance had the lowest gap scores. The study recommends that Ladnan Hospital should invest massively in facilities and equipment including increasing its capacity to accommodate more patients and enhance accessibility of their services. Further, it is recommended that Ladnan Hospital management should conduct regular training and development programs for its healthcare service providers to enhance their skills and knowledge in their profession. In turn, this will improve their level of competence and effectiveness in provision of quality healthcare services. Having established that there is a statistically significant gap between customer expectation and perception of healthcare service quality, the study recommends for further studies to establish the cause of this gap.