Quantitative comparisons of urgent care service providers.

Research paper by Hong H Qin, Gayle L GL Prybutok, Victor R VR Prybutok, Bin B Wang

Indexed on: 15 Jul '15Published on: 15 Jul '15Published in: International journal of health care quality assurance


The purpose of this paper is to develop, validate, and use a survey instrument to measure and compare the perceived quality of three types of US urgent care (UC) service providers: hospital emergency rooms, urgent care centres (UCC), and primary care physician offices.This study develops, validates, and uses a survey instrument to measure/compare differences in perceived service quality among three types of UC service providers. Six dimensions measured the components of service quality: tangibles, professionalism, interaction, accessibility, efficiency, and technical quality.Primary care physicians' offices scored higher for service quality and perceived value, followed by UCC. Hospital emergency rooms scored lower in both quality and perceived value. No significant difference was identified between UCC and primary care physicians across all the perspectives, except for interactions.The homogenous nature of the sample population (college students), and the fact that the respondents were recruited from a single university limits the generalizability of the findings.The patient's choice of a health care provider influences not only the continuity of the care that he or she receives, but compliance with a medical regime, and the evolution of the health care landscape.This work contributes to the understanding of how to provide cost effective and efficient UC services.This study developed and validated a survey instrument to measure/compare six dimensions of service quality for three types of UC service providers. The authors provide valuable data for UC service providers seeking to improve patient perceptions of service quality.