SERVQUAL-Based Evaluation of Service Quality in Turkish Health Industry With Fuzzy Logic

SERVQUAL-Based Evaluation of Service Quality in Turkish Health Industry With Fuzzy Logic

Hasan Dinçer (Istanbul Medipol University, Turkey), Serhat Yüksel (Istanbul Medipol University, Turkey), Yaşar Gökalp (Istanbul Medipol University, Turkey) and Serkan Eti (Istanbul Medipol University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5442-5.ch011
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Abstract

The aim of this study is to analyze the service quality in the Turkish health sector. In this context, a literature review is conducted, and 16 different criteria based on SERVQUAL are determined. Fuzzy DEMATEL method is used to determine which of these criteria are more important. The findings indicate that operating hours and quality of equipment have the highest weights. In addition to these items, experience of personnel and individual attention to patient are other important factors with respect to the service quality in Turkish health industry. Hence, it is strongly recommended that hospitals in Turkey should operate in an extended time because Turkish people prefer to go to the hospitals after working hours. It is also obvious that Turkish hospitals should make investment to quality equipment. Finally, it is a good idea for new hospitals to have qualified employee. This situation has a positive contribution to the service quality of these hospitals.
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Introduction

Health is an important factor in all societies. In this context, people have always wanted to be healthier over the years. The main reason for this is that the quality of life increases when people are healthy. In other words, healthy individuals do not experience pain that makes them unhappy. In addition to the mentioned issue, if people are healthy, it may be more possible for them to be included in social environments. On the other hand, when individuals are healthy, they will be able to find jobs more easily. In this way, the persons concerned can have a regular income (Pansiri and Mmereki, 2010). This situation will contribute to these people to lead a happier life.

In addition to the issues mentioned, labor force participation will increase in countries with healthier individuals. In this way, an increase in the amount of production in the country will come to the benefit. It is easier for economic development to be continuous in societies with developing industry. Moreover, there will be new investments in the country thanks to the developing industry. Thanks to these new investments, new job opportunities will emerge (Shaikh et al., 2008). In summary, in a society with healthy individuals, it is possible for the country to grow economically. Therefore, countries also prefer their citizens to be healthier. Hence, they aim to implement many policies that contribute to healthy life.

However, people sometimes experience some illnesses. Naturally, these people aim to improve their quality of life by getting rid of their illnesses in a short time. In this case, the effectiveness of the health system in the country plays an important role. If the sick individuals cannot get the treatment they need in time, they are unhappy. Depending on the population density in the country, state hospitals are sometimes not sufficient to meet this need. In this case, private hospitals are established by entrepreneurs in the country. In this way, it is aimed to treat sick people in the country in a timely and correct manner.

On the other hand, after the intense opening of private hospitals, there was a serious competition in the health sector. In this case, it has become necessary to take some measures to ensure the continuity of the hospitals. In this framework, it is accepted by everyone that hospitals should satisfy their patients. Otherwise, patients will not prefer these hospitals when they need it, and they will apply to other hospitals operating in the highly competitive sector (Taner and Antony, 2006). This will make it very difficult for hospitals to continue their activities for a long time. As a result, hospitals should give importance to the customer expectations.

There are many issues that hospitals need to pay attention in order to make patients satisfied. First of all, the physical conditions of the hospital affect the choice decisions of the patients. In this context, the working hours of the hospital and the number of employees are important issues. Patients prefer to reach hospitals and doctors in different time periods. Besides the issues mentioned, the location of the hospital is also an important factor (Zarei et al., 2012). The main reason for this is that patients want to easily reach the location of the hospital. On the other hand, the quality of physical safety and equipment in the hospital can be considered as a reason for preference for patients.

In addition to physical conditions, the fact that the hospital is functional and responds quickly to problems are other important factors. In this context, the short waiting time for the results of the tests will increase the happiness of the patients. In addition, the accuracy of patient reports and the experience of hospital staff will contribute to increasing patient satisfaction (Kalaja et al., 2016). On the other hand, the communication of the hospital with the patients should also be of high quality. In this framework, the establishment of a patient communication center where patients can directly apply will contribute to achieving this goal. Furthermore, hospitals with a quality call center will also be preferred by patients.

Furthermore, safety is another issue that affects patient satisfaction. In this context, the safety of health personnel is very important. Patients prefer a hospital where security measures are taken effectively. The security of patient information is another important issue in this process (Ocampo et al., 2017). The reason for this is that hospitals have very specific information about patients. On the other hand, special attention to patients will increase the preference of hospitals. In addition to the issues mentioned, hospital costs are other issues that patients care about. Hospitals with very high treatment costs are more difficult to choose.

Key Terms in this Chapter

ANP: Analytical network process.

DEMATEL: Decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory.

SERVQUAL: It is a methodology which has some dimensions to measure the service quality of the companies.

AHP: Analytical hierarchy process.

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