Measuring quality and assesing customer satisfaction in Cyprus hospitals
Quality and quality management is one of the major factors companies should concentrate their efforts on in today's highly volatile and sensitive business environment in order to diversify and excel. In a healthcare setting effectively managing quality and evaluating the level of service quality provided to patients is critically important. What patients expect from a hospital and how they perceive the medical services provided to them plays an integral role in the success and reputation of a medical facility. Measuring service quality and evaluating patients' expectations and perceptions on a number of quality dimensions provides information on the areas where a hospital performs well and where improvement is needed. The purpose of this study is to identify any quality gaps between the patients' expectations and perceptions on service quality in Cyprus hospitals. Three hospitals were included in the study, two from the private sector and one from the pllblic sector with a total of three hundred participants. The SERVQUAL model was used to assess the expectations and perceptions of patients on five generic quality dimensions. Analysis ofthe data collected with SPSS revealed quality gaps on all five dimensions both in the public and private sector. Low patient expectations and substantial quality gaps were detected in the public sector, indicating service quality issues of the public healthcare sector in Cyprus. Smaller quality gaps were identified in the private sector indicating thought space for further improvement and a necessity by private hospitals to address the increasing demands of patients paying for private medical care. The results of the present study may be used for shaping quality management strategies in both public and private hospitals in order to improve the quality of medical services provided to patients in Cyprus.