Relationship Between Service Quality And Operational Performance Of Public Hospitals In Mombasa County, Kenya
Healthcare system in Kenya aims to provide patient centered care and improve quality of care by ensuring health interventions are organized around patient needs and expectations. In Mombasa County patients suffering from minor ailments travel for long distances to the county referral hospital due to lack of equipment, personnel and drugs at health centersthough the average distance to healthcare facilities is 0.55km. The study aimed at establishing service quality dimensions perception by customers anddetermining their relationship with operational performance of public hospitals in Mombasa County. The study adopted a cross-sectional descriptive survey research design. The population of study was 24,688 which was the average monthly cumulative patients seen in the four public hospitals in Mombasa County which included a tier 5, a tier 4 and two tier 3 hospitals. Proportionate stratified random sampling was used to determine the sample size. The study used primary data and data was collected from patients using a structured questionnaire with 252 questionnaires completely filled. The study found that hospital tangibles, service assurance, service reliability, empathy of services and service responsiveness were perceived to be poor.The study found that the hospitals offered poor quality of services, had long waiting times to see doctors and for laboratory tests and poor communication skills and relationships between patients and medical staffwhich affected service quality perception. The findings of the study suggest a strong relationship between operational performance and service quality with a correlation coefficient of 0.406. Service quality dimensions reliability, responsiveness, empathy, assurance and tangibles all had a significant positive relationship with operational performance. Sufficient drugs and X-ray equipment are required by hospitals to ensure provision of service quality and sufficient and proficient health personnel employed to reduce waiting time and improve service quality.
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