Service quality practices in public healthcare facilities in Mombasa county, Kenya
Organizations have found it fruitful to improve services selectively by paying more critical attention to the service dimensions or attributes as part of a customer service management. The measure of such service dimensions is important because it leads to an objective criterion for prioritizing and implementation. One of the objective measures of service quality is the consideration of the extent to which an organization practices the dimensions of service quality. This study sought to determine the extent to which the health facilities in Mombasa County adopt service quality practices, to determine the dimension of service quality emphasized by the public healthcare facilities in Mombasa County and to determine the challenges faced by the public healthcare facilities in Mombasa County in the adoption of service quality practices. The respondents were the management staff responsible for the maintenance of quality standards in the healthcare facilities. A structured questionnaire was distributed to all the 26 public healthcare facilities in Mombasa County. The service quality dimensions investigated included the tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, competence, access, communication, credibility and safety. The results show that the facilities have employed competent staff who are responsive to the needs of the patients. It also indicates a high level of reliability of the services provided. It however shows that most of the physical facilities are not appealing and the medical equipment are inadequate. Communication is the dimension that has the greatest shortfall. This is because most of the facilities are still processing the patients manually. The study also revealed that the greatest challenge towards the provision of quality services in these facilities is shortage of funds and inadequate staff. This is perhaps because most of the dimensions of service quality require funding or competent and experienced staff. It is therefore recommended that some of the dispensaries be elevated to the higher level of district hospitals. This will ensure that the hospitals access more funding and can be allowed to offer both outpatient and inpatient services. The government can also ensure the recruitment and deployment of additional competent medical personnel to these facilities. This will greatly improve the level of service quality provided.