An Empirical Study on Service Quality and Patient Satisfaction in Specialty and General Hospitals

전문병원과 일반병원의 서비스의 질과 환자만족도에 관한 실증적 분석

  • Kim, Mi-Sun (Graduate School of Healthcare Management & Policy, The Catholic University of Korea) ;
  • Park, Ha-Young (Uijeongbu St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea)
  • 김미선 (가톨릭대학교 의료경영대학원) ;
  • 박하영 (가톨릭대학교 의정부성모병원)
  • Published : 2006.03.30


The objective of this study is to examine the effectiveness of the strategy of hospital specialization by analyzing the differences in expected and perceived services, perceived service quality, satisfaction, and intentions to revisit and recommend the hospital to others between general and specialty hospitals. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaire from patients admitted to four study hospitals: two speciality and two general hospitals. The questionnaire was developed based on SERVQUAL to measure five dimensions of service quality. Four hundreds questionnaires were distributed to inpatients or their guardians and 282 returned questionnaires were used in the analyses. The significance of the differences in study variables between specialty and general hospitals were tested by t-test and $x^2$-test. The factor analysis result confirmed the construct validity of 28 questions asked to measure service quality and resulted in four dimensions of service quality: reliability, assurance, tangible and empathy/responsiveness. Cronbach's Alpha ranged from .9013 to .9358, that confirmed the internal consistency of answers. The study results indicated that patients who used specialty hospitals had higher levels of expected and perceived service, a higher level of perceived service quality, and higher levels of service satisfaction than patients who used general hospitals. Percents of patients who had the intention to revisit the hospital and to recommend the hospital to others were higher among patients in specialty hospitals. The most frequent reason to choose the hospital was the excellence of doctors in both general(29.9%) and specialty(43.8%) hospitals, that was followed by convenient transportation(15.3%) and someone know works at the hospital(15.3%) in general hospitals and other's recommendation(14.6%), and nice amenities(13.1%) in specialty hospitals. Although there were no significant differences in clinical department, age, and sex of patients between general and specialty hospitals, patients who visited speciality hospitals had higher levels of education and income than their counter part in general hospitals. These results suggested that specialty hospitals performed better than general hospitals. Specialization could be a viable strategy to tide over recent financial difficulties experienced by hospitals, particularly small- and medium-sized hospitals.