Purpose – The purpose of this research is to show that referring physicians play a strategic role in health care management. This study aims to evaluate the perception of hospital services by referring physicians and clinicians for quality improvement. Design/method/approach – Referring physicians in private practice and hospital clinicians at a large dermatology academic department providing inpatient and outpatient services at secondary and tertiary care levels were surveyed to determine their perceptions of service quality. A comparative questionnaire survey was established to identify improvement areas and factors that drive referral rates using descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings – Referring physicians' ( n =53) and clinicians' ( n =22) survey results concordantly revealed that timely and significant information about hospital stay as well as accessibility to hospital staff are major points for improvement. Significant differences between both samples were found with respect to inpatient services and patient commendation. Clinicians tended to rate their services and offerings higher than referring physicians ( p =0.019). Geographic range was correlated with the frequency of patient commendation ( p =0.005) and the perception of friendliness ( p =0.039). The number of referred patients was correlated with medical reports' informational value ( p =0.042). Research limitations/implications – Although the study has a limited sample size it appears that surveying physicians' perspectives is an essential tool for gathering information about how provided health care services are perceived. Originality/value – Survey results should be useful for continuous quality improvement by regular measuring and reporting to executive boards. Hospitals should pay careful attention to their communication tools, particularly medical reports.
International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 8, 2008
Keywords: Questionnaires; Customer services quality; Doctors; Hospitals; Germany
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