Effect of multiphase queuing systems on service quality at radiant group of hospitals
Manufacturing and service organizations which directly interact with customers must confront a common phenomenon of queues or waiting lines. The basic characteristics of healthcare services means that queues cannot be avoided. Long waiting times are a source of dissatisfaction and anxiety amongst clients and staff, necessitating the employment of operational techniques like queuing system or waiting line analysis, in order to optimize scarce resources thereby providing efficient and effective services. Service quality, on the other hand, is the difference between customer expectation of service and the perceived service and is an essential strategy for success and survival in today’s competitive environment. The demand for healthcare services in Kenya far outweighs the number of trained personnel capable of providing the services, creating bottlenecks in the service delivery system that result in queues. Moreover, previous studies focused only on single phase queuing systems and do not relate the concept of queuing systems to service quality. The study aims at providing data that will fill the gap created by establishing the effect of multiphase queuing systems on service quality, using the SERVQUAL model, in a private healthcare facility. A sample of 100 non-critical clients was selected using both systematic random sampling and cluster sampling. A log of their waiting times at each service delivery point was kept and at the final service delivery point, the respondents were requested to fill in a close-ended, self-administered questionnaire evaluating the different service quality dimensions. From the results, clients agreed that they perceived service quality despite the long turn-around time. The study recommends that the facility displays its service charter to sensitize clients of their expected turn-around time, that it addresses the bottlenecks and improves on client flow in order to reduce the queue length thereby improving client perception of service quality.