Quality Evaluation of Health Care Establishment Utilizing Fuzzy AHP

Quality Evaluation of Health Care Establishment Utilizing Fuzzy AHP

Mohammad Azam (Department of Community Medicine, Career Institute of Medical Sciences & Hospital, Lucknow, India), Mohamed Rafik Noor Mohamed Qureshi (Industrial Engineering Department, College of Engineering, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia) and Faisal Talib (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Zakir Husain College of Engineering & Technology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSSMET.2017100105
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Abstract

Quality evaluation of healthcare establishment (HCE) is a difficult process as it involves multiple components of quality criteria with various factors and sub-factors therein. Further, the quality criteria are not universally standardized. The subjective evaluation in itself is not reliable as a tool so that available HCEs may be investigated for selecting the best among them. Thus, to avoid vagueness and imprecision due to process of human cognition the need to evolve a useful method for evaluation of quality of HCE was essentially required. To achieve such an objective three well established HCEs from northern cities of India have been studied. An Integrated Quality Model designed for HCE (Azam et al., 2012a, 2012b) and specifically tested previously with the AHP study by the authors (Azam et al., 2015) with its components, parameters and factors sub-factors has been utilized to evaluate the quality aspects of HCEs forming subjects of the current study. Further, the standard formula of Fuzzy AHP methodology with the application of fuzzy set theory was applied to the multiple components of the quality criteria with various factors and sub-factors therein pertaining to various HCEs forming the subject of the study. Quality of the HCEs thus could be evaluated empirically avoiding vagueness due to human cognition factors. Utilizing this methodology respective rankings of HCEs could also be assigned among them with practical utility to maintain the required quality of their services. Quality evaluation of Health Care Establishment utilizing Fuzzy AHP along with fuzzy set theory is a unique method which will benefit the client patients to select the best HCE among the available alternatives of HCEs. It also helps the managers to improve the business by allocating scarce resources wherever critically required to improve various quality components criteria factors and sub-factors of their HCEs.
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Introduction

The multi criteria decision model (MCDM) such as Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is a hierarchy or a set of structure at integrated levels and is empirically constructed for complex problems with criteria and sub-criteria of multiple nature therein to achieve the intended objectives of the organization (Talib et al., 2011a; Talib and Rahman, 2015a; Hassanien et al., 2015). It thus, seeks consistency of judgment with a user-friendly approach. Along with operations research techniques it may also deal with intricate problems to find appropriate solutions (Azam et al., 2015). Multiple criteria thus, can be dealt with relative ease (Dura’n and Aguilo, 2008; Hassanien et al., 2014). AHP however, is found to be deficient to deal with the ambiguity creeping in due to conceptual aspects as a result of subjective judgment attributable to the human beings (Talib et al., 2011a). This deficiency resulting vagueness may be rectified through the Fuzzy AHP method. The quality aspects of any Health Care Establishment (HCE) is important both from the point of view of clients as also from the point of view of managers. The judgments in AHP are likely to be faced with human cognitive problems due to subjectivity creeping therein. This problem however, is avoided in Fuzzy AHP method which is combined with Fuzzy set theory as an extension of AHP model.

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