Indexed on: 12 Dec '18Published on: 12 Dec '18Published in: Dental research journal
The measurement of service quality had an important role in managing service provided, diagnosing the problem, and assessing service performance. Patient satisfaction is one of the key indicators of quality in health-care organizations. This study aimed to measure the service quality gap of patients' perceptions and expectations in five dimensions at a military Specialized Dental Clinic in Iran using SERVQUAL tool. This was a cross-sectional and descriptive-analytical study conducted at a Specialized Dental Clinic affiliated to the Armed Forces of Islamic Republic of Iran in Tehran in 2013. All 385 patients referring to the studied clinic during two working shifts of morning and evening in one month, August, were selected. The required data were collected using the modified SERVQUAL questionnaire. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS 20.0 through statistical tests including Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests. < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The results showed that the quality of services provided to patients was significantly lower than their expectations and the quality gaps were statistically significant in all studied dimensions ( < 0.001). Furthermore, the highest and lowest quality gap was related to empathy (-1.16) and reliability (-0.61), respectively. According to the results, the managers of this clinic should take steps toward improving the quality of services in all dimensions, especially responsiveness and empathy, through planning properly, prioritizing services, and reviewing processes with regard to the patients' expectations.