Study On Service Quality Of Patient Care In A Multispeciality Dental Clinic
Background: Dental clinic is a part of healthcare service. In the current scenario, there are over 13,000 registered dentists in Kerala, most of them set up independent clinics in different parts of the state. Therefore, there is high competition in the field of dental health care. Patient expectations and demand for quality services have increased, hence provision of quality services is important for patient retention referrals. Dental clinics should manage/ maintain, improve upon service quality to enhance patient satisfaction and for better patient care. An ideal clinic must quality services to its patients to improve their satisfaction. The rising literacy rate, higher levels of income, increasing awareness through media, has brought patients closer to demand quality dental health care. Thus, this study on service quality in the dental clinic provides feedback for clinicians for their patient oriented and patient-centric efforts in attracting and satisfying the patients.
Objectives: The main objectives are to identify the determinants of service quality, to assess the service quality experienced by the patient in the clinic and to identify 'gap' in expected and experienced service quality by the patients.
Methods: following are methods used in this study. Firstly ,conceptual phase,which is to assess the service quality experienced by the patient’s questionnaire in the clinic and to assess the expectations of patients about the service quality.Secondly empirical phase,in which data collection using servqual questionnaire.Thirdly analytical phase,in which analysis of data collected and result interpretation and recommendations are also considered
Results: Service quality gap was least in the case of safety and communication aspects. Gap was minimum for behaviour of the staff instilling confidence in patients and for responsibility of the staff in providing right information to patients, also for communicating with the patients in a language they could follow.Quality gap was highest for physical facilities and convenience of operating hours
Interpretation and conclusion: Service quality in dental health care is an important factor that influences a patient's choice of a dental clinic. Patient expectations and demand for quality services in dental health care is increasing day by day, hence provision of care in accordance with their expectations is important for clinicians for providing better patient care.The study here is aimed to assess the experiences of patient regarding service quality provided in the clinic and to identify the differences with their expectations, so that suggestions can be made to improve upon patient satisfaction with the clinicThe study adds a perspective towards understanding how concept of service quality can be applied in a dental clinical. Study identifies areas of dissatisfaction which can be remedied and ensures improvement in the areas of satisfaction with ongoing notice and importance.