In the health care setting, the meaning of quality service may appear complex as well as controversial since different stakeholders have different views. Quality service providers, patients and other myriad stakeholders that are part of the care service delivery service process usually describe and understand service quality from different perspectives. Each group or category has its own different and specific opinions as well as interests on the measurement, definition, and enhancement of healthcare service quality (Wolper, 2004).
External stakeholders may include those that offer inputs into the healthcare, potential competitors of the organization and those that may be having an interest in the functioning of the institution. External stakeholders have symbiotic mutual relationship with the institution. The operation of internal stakeholders is confined within the accepted boundaries, and they include management staff, professional staff, and the subordinate group. External groups include governmental regulatory bodies, professional associations, media, and trade unions (Wolper, 2004). External stakeholders play an important role as they supply inputs to the institution. In turn, they too take outputs from the institution.
The interface stakeholders include the board of trustees, medical staff; tax-payers. Various stakeholders influence a number of issues in the healthcare institutions including hospital governance, quality services for patients, good financial management.
Each group of stakeholders has different expectations, and for the hospital executives to attract their acceptance, it is important that they set performance goal that addresses specific concerns raised by each group (Wolper, 2004). Sometimes, it is not probable to meet the expectations of each group, and this may create a conflict of interest.
Well-known stakeholders include the medical staff, patients, professional staff, board of trustees, and the hospital management. Patients are in dire need of quality care at low cost but high service quality. Medical care has expectations of the provision of high-quality care that is based on advanced facilities, technology, and services. Therefore, the management must provide inducements to enable the medical staff makes their contribution. The board of trustees, on the contrary, is more interested in maintaining cash flow, constant flow of revenue, profitability as well as wise utilization of the available resources. The health care management has almost the same expectations as the trustee that includes profitability, institutional leadership, and cost containment. For the health care organization to satisfy each group, it looks forward to setting performance goal that addresses the issues that meets the interests of manifold stakeholders (Wolper, 2004).
Measurement efficiency remains the greatest challenge due to the large number of stakeholders involved that makes it difficult to agree on certain definitions, specific efficiency framework, and other technical issues. In my view, the number of stakeholders is too large and complex and that there is a need for stakeholder management program to ensure smooth implementation of healthcare’s vision. Many health care organizations have ineffective stakeholder management bodies for managing their stakeholder relationships. The management is important in identifying all players and the level of stakeholders’ role in that network. The management also serves as the means of identifying those key areas that are likely to provide an opportunity for cooperation and those that generate conflict among various stakeholders.
Since each group or category has its own different specific opinions and interests on the various aspects. These include measurement, definition, and enhancement of healthcare service quality, effective stakeholder. The management is needed to build a good relationship among the various stakeholders.
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