The article, “Service Quality in Health Care Centers: An Empirical Study”, by Dr. Sumanthi Kumaraswamy review service quality factors that are important to clients in the corporate and non-corporate health care centers in India. The article is categorical on the quality factors that are perceived by patients as satisfactory. This analytical treatise attempts to offer a comprehensive review of the article. Besides, the paper reflects on the methodology strategy and adopted methods. In addition, the review investigates research designs and assesses the same in terms of relevance.
Definition of the problem
The research problem in this article is a reflection on the importance of quality of service as perceived by consumers as an indicator of health care centers’ competitiveness. The research problem attempts to unearth the implications of patient satisfaction in determining the performance of health care centers. The element of quality service delivery is important for health care administrators in that it is a major pillar of customer satisfaction in health care centers. Thus, relating quality services to the level of patient satisfaction may significantly influence the management strategies that a health care administrator applies to increase patient admission and satisfaction.
The purpose of the study is to establish the link between service quality anpatients”s perception of satisfactory levels of different health care centers across India. Though the research question is not stated, the scope of the research conducted attempts to establish the impact of service quality in terms of perception among the clients on the performance of corporate and non-corporate health care centers.
Though not stated, the null hypothesis for the research article would be; service quality perception determines the level of performance for the corporate and non-corporate health care centers. Thus, the alternative hypothesis would be; service quality perception does not determine the level of performance for the corporate and non-corporate health care centers.
There are three main variables in the research article are customer perception, service quality, and different health care centers. The independent variable is service quality while the dependent variables are consumer perception and type of health care center. The types of health care centers in this context are corporate and non-corporate health facilities.
This research article is based on two theoretical frameworks. The first model is SERVQUAL while the other model is SERVPERF. As indicated in the theoretical framework developed for this article, the SERVQUAL model is critical in capturing the actual customer expectations and perceptions on the quality of services in a health center. This model highlights calculated variances between perceptions and expectations through a series of criteria.
Thus, the SERVQUAL model displays the instrumental requirements of quality in service delivery under the “dimensions of reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and tangibles” (Kumaraswamy, 2012, p. 43). Across the article, this model has amassed admirable empirical and conceptual support in other social researches, which influence the research problem in this article.
On the other hand, the conceptual framework of this research article is also based on the SERVPERF model which is a tool for service quality quantification. This model encourages the focus of research to function on the specific service quality facets, in terms of the outcome variable and contentment relevance (Hardeep & Sharma, 2004). Thus, about this article, this model is one of the key measures of different facets of quality of services as perceived by customers in different health care centers.
Review of related literature
To effectively give the importance of the subject and the extent of the impact of service quality perception on health care centers’ performance, the search result reveals a total of 40 articles used in this study. As a continuation of conceptual framework development, the research article is developed from existing empirical research carried out across the last three decades. For instance, the research article borrows heavily from the work of Lentimere and Jukka in 1985. The authors succeeded in presenting a comprehensive and holistic approach of qualifying operational perceptions and service quality in different health care organizations (Kumaraswamy, 2012).
Besides, the theoretical framework of this article is based on the work of John in the year 1989. This research was successful in identifying the main dimensions of service quality in the health care sector. These dimensions are the “caring dimension, the access dimension, and the physical environment” (Kumaraswamy, 2012, p. 45). The literature review in this research article is based on the SERVQUAL model developed by Glynn in the year 1992 and similar researchers that aim at relating patient satisfaction to the reliability, empathy, and responsiveness.
Another interesting element discussed in the literature review introduces the elements of punctuality, prestige, and durability in determining the perception of service quality. Based on the past research by Takeuchi and Quelch in the year 1983, this part of the literature review offers stratification categories of different health care centers and the level of consumer perceptions and expectations (Kumaraswamy, 2012).
Reflectively, the above literature review is significant in identifying the variables of service quality as perceived by potential customers. For instance, the past research on elements and different dimensions of service quality are critical in reviewing the current satisfaction against expectations in different health care centers. Since the literature is based on numerous studies, the element of biasness on restricted perception in the analysis section of this study meets the minimum requirements of empirical research.
The researcher chose the qualitative approach rather than a quantitative one because the scope of the research is focused, subjective, dynamic, and discovery-oriented. The qualitative approach is best suited to gain proper insight into the situation of the case study. A sample space of 200 participants was contacted through a construct mode of data collection in three stages. The questionnaires used in the study consisted of thirty-four items revolving around the quality of services in health care centers. The sample was chosen randomly across different ages, gender, and other responsibility classes. The researcher used convenience sampling consisting of fifty patients equally selected from non-corporate and corporate health care centers.
The research design was a mixed-methods blueprint, emphasizing strategies from a qualitative model and the use of subjective human interpretation in the evaluation process. The subjects were contacted via phone. The subjects consisted of 100 patients for each of the two health care center categories in Madurai City in Tamilnadu, India. The list was based on patients who had made repeated visits to corporate and non-corporate health care centers in the region during the period between January and Match in the year 2007. The use of coding, thematic analysis, and content analysis in the article was justified in this study which lasted for three months.
Hardeep, C., & Sharma, R. (2004). Managing Health Care Service Quality in a Primary Health Care Centre. Metamorphosis-JMR, 3(2), 112-131.
Kumaraswamy, S. (2012). Service quality in health care centers: An empirical study. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(16), 141-150.