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Oman Med J. 2012 Sep;27(5):396-401. doi: 10.5001/omj.2012.97.

Staff perception of relative importance of quality dimensions for patients at tertiary public services in oman.

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1
Department of Quality Management, The Royal Hospital, P.O Box 1331, PC 111, Sultanate of Oman.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This research attempted to explore the public healthcare providers understanding the quality dimensions and patient priorities in Oman. It also addresses the issue of risks confronting health professionals in management without "a customer focused" approach.

METHODS:

A descriptive study was carried out using a self-administered questionnaire distributed around two tertiary public hospitals. A total of 838 respondents from several specialties and levels of hierarchy participated in the study. The data was analyzed to compare the perception of two groups; the group of junior and frontline staff, as well as of managers and senior staff involved in management.

RESULTS:

The results showed that 61% of the junior and frontline staff, and 68.3% of the senior staff and managers think that cure or improvement in overall health is the single most important quality dimension in healthcare. Both groups perceive that technical dimensions have greater importance (to patients) over interpersonal aspects such as communication with the exception of dignity and respect. There was no significant difference between the perception of the managers and senior staff vis-à-vis the perception of junior and frontline staff on the importance of technical dimensions and the interpersonal aspects of service quality. Despite the proven contribution of empathy to patient satisfaction, it was ranked by both groups as the least important among the dimensions examined.

CONCLUSION:

The findings of this research are therefore informative of the need to implement strategies that deal effectively with such attitudes and create the platform and programs that reinforce the culture of good quality service amongst healthcare providers, managers in particular, and to improve patient satisfaction.

KEYWORDS:

Functional quality; Healthcare quality; Patient priorities; Quality dimensions; Staff perceptions

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