Presents and discusses the results of a monitoring programme instituted to comply with the objectives laid down in The Patient’s Charter. Explores the dangers inherent in attempting to assess the quality of out‐patient clinics by the use of single, simplistic indicators such as a waiting time. Examines the ways in which total quality management has been deployed in a health‐service context and pays particular attention to the way in which the concept of “the customer” may need considerable refinement. Suggests incorporating more user‐centred approaches into evaluations of quality in the National Health Service, such as the patient satisfaction survey and the application of the SERVQUAL model of consumer satisfaction. Refines the concept of “ecological validity” in an attempt to capture the perceptions and world views of all of the participants in episodes of out‐patient care in order to derive more complete measures of quality.
International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 1, 1996
Keywords: Customers; National Health Service; Quality; TQM
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