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A Study on Patients Satisfaction towards Ayurvedic Healthcare Services at Erode District of Tamilnadu

 

Dr. A. Lakshmi

Director – School of Management

K.S. Rangasamy College of Technology, Tiruchengode

 

 and

 

V.S. Vijaya Chander

Assistant Professor and Research Scholar – School of Management

K.S. Rangasamy College of Technology, Tiruchengode

 

 

ABSTRACT

 

This paper focused on Ayurvedic health care services offered by Ayurvedic hospitals and expectations of patients. The study helps to identify the determinants of various factors which influence the quality of the service provided by various health care centre and hospitals. The opinions of patients were collected informally at different Ayurvedic hospitals in Erode district. The study also brings to the limelight of new service requirements expected by patients, thus fulfilling the gap between the existing services and patients’ requirements. Through this paper the study proposes systematic procedures for conceptual analysis on patients perceived and expected service quality in Ayurvedic health care centre and hospitals. The study brings out the factors which will significantly contribute to the satisfaction of the patients. The main finding of the study is that most of the people feel that the Ayurvedic doctor should look neat and clean as well as the personal care taken by doctors towards the patients. Of the different factors studied the respondent gave least important to hospital tangible factor. This might be possible because of the nature fear of the people that sound infrastructure may lead to high treatment cost.    

 

 

Key words : Ayurvedic health care centers, Ayurvedic doctor, hospital tangibility, patient satisfaction

 

INTRODUCTION

 

            In competitive world, the service economy grows faster, so marketer need to know more about marketing the service product and they need more professional approach since services are intangible product.

           

 The past Indian scenario indicates that, in 1950-51 service contributes about 12.8% to Indian economy, in 1990-91 service contributes to 30.9% and in 2010-11 contributes to 61%.

           

In India specialized hospitals are growing in fast and them trying to differentiate from each other like cardiac surgery, cancer, eye hospitals. Hospitals may be classified in another way based on treatment method as Allopathy, Ayurveda, Siddha, Homeopathy and Unani. Each one is trying to create a unique identity and wands to cater to a specific segment of market.

           

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not the outsider on our business. He is a part of it. We are not doing him a favour buying serving him. He is doing as a favour by giving as an opportunity to do so.”

            Mahatma Gandhi

 

 DETERMINANTS OF CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

 

                     Customer satisfaction is influenced by specific product or service features, perceptions of product and service quality, and price. In addition, personal factors such as the customer’s mood or emotional state and situational factors such as family member opinions will also influence satisfaction.

 

PRODUCT AND SERVICE FEATURES   

 

          Customer satisfaction with the product or service is influenced significantly by the customer’s evaluation of a product or service features. For a service such as a resort hotel, important features might include the pool area, access of golf facilities, room comfort and privacy, helpfulness and courtesy of staff, room price, and so forth.

 

CUSTOMER EMOTION

 

                   Customer emotion is can also affect their perceptions of satisfaction with the products or services. These emotions can be stable, preexisting – for example, mood state of life satisfaction. Think of times when you are at a happy stage in your life, and good happy mood and positive frame of mind have influenced how you feel about the services you experience. Alternatively, when you are in bad mood, your negative feelings may carry over into how you respond to services, causing you to overreact or respond negatively to any little problem.

 

ATTRIBUTIONS FOR SERVICE SUCCESS OR FAILURE

 

                  Attribution – the perceived cause of events - influences the perceptions of satisfaction as well. When they have been surprised by an outcome, customer tends to look for the reasons, and their assessments of the reasons can influence their satisfaction.

 

PERCEPTION OF EQUITY OR FAIRNESS

 

                  Customer is also influenced by perceptions of equity and fairness. Customer asks themselves: Have I been treated fairly compared with other customers? Did others get better treatment, better price, or better quality service? Notions of fairness are central to customers’ perceptions of satisfaction with products and services, particularly in service recovery situations.

 

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

 

SECONDARY RESEARCH

 

The secondary research was conducted to know that the patients are satisfied with the quality of the service provided by Ayurvedic hospitals. The past data indicates that the research was carried in general health care sector but not specifically in Ayurvedic sector. The authors feel that more research should be done in patient’s satisfaction of Ayurvedic health care sector. The study was conducted from various Ayurvedic hospitals in Erode district, Tamilnadu. The study was carried out between the periods of two months.

 

QUALITY RESEARCH

 

The researcher discussed with the number of Ayurvedic doctors about the entire process and types of data that can be collected from the patients and the way in which, data can be grouped. The discussion helped to group the factors under six categories in structured model i.e., doctors service oriented, hospital tangible, staff tangible, accessibility, process and treatment cost.

 

QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN

 

A preliminary version of questionnaire was developed in English based on the past research. The scale items were rated on five point likert scale in a structured format. Each item was rated as numerical 1 as strongly dissatisfied and numerical 5 as strongly satisfied. This format was recommended for health care services by the previous researchers. The questionnaire was pretested several times to ensure wording, format, length of questionnaire, sequence of question and scaling techniques.

 

SAMPLING AND DATA COLLECTION

 

The data was collected from 64 patients at five different Ayurvedic hospitals in Erode district, Tamilnadu. The people who are all using the services of Ayurvedic health care centers and hospitals form the population. The researcher collected data by visiting directly to all the Ayurvedic hospitals and interviewing the patients.  The sampling method followed by researcher was convenient sampling. The list of public and private hospitals in Erode district is obtained from All India Ayurveda Congress, Tamilnadu Chamber. To ensure that all the hospitals are included in the survey, each hospital’s inpatients are given equal chances to be included in the survey.

 

ANALYSIS

           

The researches obtained frequency distribution for each factors to check the data entry errors to obtain mean and standard deviation. The factors are ranked according to their weighted mean to see which factor contributes more to the satisfaction of patients.

           

A regression model of fitted for all level of satisfaction on many dependent factors like doctors service oriented, hospital tangible, staff tangible, accessibility, process and treatment cost.

            The model is represent by the equation,

                                    Satisfaction = constant + b1 (doctors service oriented)

                                                                         + b2 (hospital tangible)

                                                                         + b3 (staff tangible)

                                                                         + b4 (accessibility)

 + b5 (process)

                                                                         + b6 (treatment cost)

 

To find the factors which are mainly influencing satisfaction level, a revised step wise regression was run and revealed that only to factors i.e., doctors service oriented and hospital tangible were mainly contributes to customer satisfaction. The revised model explained 73% cumulative variation.

 

RESULT

 

DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS

 

The mean and standard deviation of various factors influencing patient satisfaction are presented in Table 1 and Fig 1. The mean of the satisfaction for the overall patients is 4.21 on five point likert scale, has a positive valence, close to extreme point of 5. The factors tangible staff was rated as high and treatment cost, tangible hospital were rated as low by the patients. This means that the patients are highly satisfied with regards to the appearance and cleanliness of doctors and dissatisfied with regards to the cost of treatment appearance and cleanliness of hospitals.

 

Table 1: Descriptive Statistics of different factors

 

SUMMARY

 

 

 

 

 

Groups

Count

Sum

Average

S.D.

C.V.

Service

64

271.0

4.234

0.415

9.795

Tangible(Hospital)

64

250.2

3.909

0.772

19.760

Tangible(Staff)

64

289.0

4.516

0.504

11.155

Access

64

254.6

3.979

0.719

18.081

Process

64

266.5

4.164

0.724

17.388

Treatment Cost

64

250.8

3.919

0.512

13.075

 

ANOVA

 

            ANOVA test was conducted to see if there are any variations in average levels of satisfaction of the patients under various factors. The ANOVA analysis is presented in Table 2. ANOVA reveals that there is a significant difference in the satisfaction level of various factors (p = 0).

 

Table 2: ANOVA Table

 

Source of Variation

SS

df

MS

F

P-value

F crit

Between Groups

17.69

5

3.54

9.12

3.32E-08

2.24

Within Groups

146.59

378

0.39

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

164.27

383

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

            The study reveals those customers are highly satisfied with regard to service and staff tangibility.   The factors which scored very low on satisfaction level are – hospital tangibility and treatment cost.  This indicates that the Ayurvedic health care centers have to focus more on updating the infrastructure of hospital and also reduce treatment cost.  The Ayurvedic health care centers have to equip with modern equipments and also maintain cleanliness and neatness of the hospitals. If the infrastructure of Ayurvedic health care center is modernised, it may attract more number of patients towards the Ayurvedic treatment. By reducing the cost of the treatment to the possible extent and extending the personal care taken by the doctors towards the patients, the Ayurvedic treatment may be revived  to a new height in our country.

 

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