Original Research

Patients’ perception of service quality in a healthcare not-for-profit organisation

Melene Strauss, Renata Schoeman
South African Family Practice | Vol 64, No 1 : Part 4| a5490 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v64i1.5490 | © 2022 Melene Strauss, Renata Schoeman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 January 2022 | Published: 26 September 2022

About the author(s)

Melene Strauss, University of Stellenbosch Business School, Bellville, South Africa
Renata Schoeman, Department of Leadership, University of Stellenbosch Business School, Bellville, South Africa


Background: Service organisations should be aware of those elements that are perceived as excellent quality and incorporate these as part of their service offering. However, a not-for-profit (NPO) healthcare organisation consists of a diverse group of stakeholders who have different perspectives and interests. Service quality therefore requires a multidimensional definition that comprehends all their needs and expectations.

Methods: Perceived service quality experienced by patients was measured by completion of the Service Performance (SERVPERF) questionnaire. A total of 111 patients completed the questionnaire across three mobile clinics supported by an NPO.

Results: The research results suggested that service quality at the mobile clinics was of a very high standard, with no meaningful differences between clinics, age groups or gender. However, the responses had very little variance and could have been subjected to response bias or extreme bias. The absence of a comparator organisation could also have had an influence on responses given by respondents.

Conclusion: Healthcare service organisations should strive towards maintaining high standards and engage in continuous measurement and improvement of their service quality as part of their quality management process. By measuring the current level of service experienced by patients, insights have been identified where adjustments might have a positive effect on perceived value. Future research recommendations include suggestions to increase the sample population, taking the service setting into account and further studies to confirm the validity and reliability of solicited service quality questionnaires in a NPO setting.



service; quality; healthcare; measurement; improvement; value; SERVPERF; not-for-profit


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