Informations and abstract
Keywords: Quality, customer satisfaction, health care, pain management, new service for patients. JEL Classification: I110; M100; M310; L800
Although quality has long been debated in service industry starting from different models developed with respect to goods, there is still room for further investigation on service quality, especially on the definition and the identification of the dimensions of it through performance indicators, the development of tools for measuring it and the analysis of customer satisfaction as a criterion for evaluation. Service quality is also particularly important in fast changing environments. In this type of context it becomes, both, a necessity and a strategic asset for the development of the business. Moving from this stance, the health sector, due to the process of corporatization and the growing interdependence of actors interaction within the system, is gradually reshaping in terms of quality with a more and more patient-oriented perspective: The quality of the service, the effectiveness of nursing care services (i.e. the technical quality of the performance) can no more be detached from customer/patient satisfaction assessment (or functional/relational quality). Through the analysis of Humanitas Mater Domini Hospital (Castellanza, Italy), as a specific case study, and the introduction of a new service offered to patients (APS, Acute Pain Service), the aim of the study is to investigate how health care services can respond to the changes taking place within the system, to highlight possible ways in which the issues of service quality and patient satisfaction are pursued within the context of health care sector and how they can impact on the care processes within the system.