Customers' perceptions of dietitian services in an Oregon community hospital Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/5425kd69p

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  • The purpose of this research was to explore patients' perceptions of services provided by hospital dietitians. The two-phase study included: (1) personal interviews of thirty-one patients to determine service attributes believed important when receiving a dietitian's service, and (2) development of a survey instrument, NUTRI-SERVE. Responses were obtained from 103 inpatients and 107 outpatients to identify service dimensions, differences in rating dimensions by patient group and gender, and relationships between dimensions, satisfaction, and recommendation of services. Results of personal interviews via qualitative analysis were used to develop NUTRI-SERVE. The survey format was a seven-point agreement scale. The instrument was reviewed for face validity and pilot tested. For the hospital survey, patients were randomly selected and surveyed by telephone; response was 87%. An a priori analysis approach was utilized examining dimensions with factor analysis to assess unidimensionality. Service dimensions: rationale, teach, motivate, care and consideration, reliability and responsiveness, and support staffphis outcome dimensions: learn and belief in the dietitian resulted. The factored scales demonstrated reliability. Outpatients rated service and outcome dimensions significantly more favorably than inpatients. Male outpatients rated and recommended the majority of services and outcomes significantly higher than female outpatients. The support staff dimension was rated highest by patients, while the teach dimension was rated lowest. The lowest rated outcome was learn. Inpatients and outpatients equally rated satisfaction with the dietitian's services favorably. Service and outcome dimensions were highly correlated. Motivate was the strongest driver for satisfaction and recommendation of services. Care and consideration was the strongest driver for motivate. Satisfaction with handouts was a driver for outpatient service dimensions, while satisfaction with the diet instruction room was a greater driver for inpatients. A customer service model was developed from these dimensions. This research provides insight into patients' perspective of service quality relating to hospital dietitians. It suggests satisfaction with dietetic education in an outpatient setting is strongly related to successfully learning the diet. This could be a useful management and marketing tool for dietetic managers, educators, and dietetic interns. Further research using NUTRI-SERVE is recommended to explore demographic and regional perceptions of service quality in dietetics.
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