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J Healthc Manag. 2007 Mar-Apr;52(2):109-24; discussion 124-5.

Links among high-performance work environment, service quality, and customer satisfaction: an extension to the healthcare sector.

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Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey, USA.


Healthcare managers must deliver high-quality patient services that generate highly satisfied and loyal customers. In this article, we examine how a high-involvement approach to the work environment of healthcare employees may lead to exceptional service quality, satisfied patients, and ultimately to loyal customers. Specifically, we investigate the chain of events through which high-performance work systems (HPWS) and customer orientation influence employee and customer perceptions of service quality and patient satisfaction in a national sample of 113 Veterans Health Administration ambulatory care centers. We present a conceptual model for linking work environment to customer satisfaction and test this model using structural equations modeling. The results suggest that (1) HPWS is linked to employee perceptions of their ability to deliver high-quality customer service, both directly and through their perceptions of customer orientation; (2) employee perceptions of customer service are linked to customer perceptions of high-quality service; and (3) perceived service quality is linked with customer satisfaction. Theoretical and practical implications of our findings, including suggestions of how healthcare managers can implement changes to their work environments, are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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