ASSESSMENT AND ASSURANCE OF SERVICE QUALITY IN PEDIATRIC HEALTHCARE IN QATAR
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The purpose of this study was quality assessment and quality assurance in pediatric services of public and private hospitals in Qatar. The purpose of quality assessment was to identify gaps in the delivered services; while quality assurance process was carried out to ensure no future gaps in quality occur. The objectives were achieved using a modified SERVQUAL scale and Fuzzy-Quality Function Deployment (Fuzzy- QFD) approach. Data from 179 participants who visit public/private hospitals in Qatar was analyzed to find the gaps between expectations and perceptions. The results of the SERVQUAL study indicates negative quality gaps for all the service quality dimensions. The inference that can be drawn from this result is that, in general, the people are dissatisfied by the pediatric healthcare services offered by the public/ private hospitals in Qatar. Thus, the managers in these hospitals should work towards improving the quality of their services, in particular, the responsiveness and empathy dimensions. The output of the SERVQUAL study was then utilized to model those variables that are important in assuring service quality. This was achieved using Fuzzy-QFD model which demonstrates that there is a set of variables that should be accorded prime importance by the hospitals administrators’ to assure quality in pediatric services.