Factors influencing healthcare service quality

Int J Health Policy Manag. 2014 Jul 26;3(2):77-89. doi: 10.15171/ijhpm.2014.65. eCollection 2014 Jul.


Background: The main purpose of this study was to identify factors that influence healthcare quality in the Iranian context.

Methods: Exploratory in-depth individual and focus group interviews were conducted with 222 healthcare stakeholders including healthcare providers, managers, policy-makers, and payers to identify factors affecting the quality of healthcare services provided in Iranian healthcare organisations.

Results: Quality in healthcare is a production of cooperation between the patient and the healthcare provider in a supportive environment. Personal factors of the provider and the patient, and factors pertaining to the healthcare organisation, healthcare system, and the broader environment affect healthcare service quality. Healthcare quality can be improved by supportive visionary leadership, proper planning, education and training, availability of resources, effective management of resources, employees and processes, and collaboration and cooperation among providers.

Conclusion: This article contributes to healthcare theory and practice by developing a conceptual framework that provides policy-makers and managers a practical understanding of factors that affect healthcare service quality.

Keywords: Healthcare Organisations; Iran; Pluralistic Evaluation; Quality.