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Title: Information-theoretic and stochastic methods for managing the quality of service and satisfaction in healthcare systems
Authors: Komashie, Alexander
Advisors: Mousavi, A
Gore, J
Keywords: Real-time discrete event simulation modelling;Queuing theory;Health care quality index;Staff-patients satisfaction relation model;Elective satisfaction level
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Brunel University School of Engineering and Design PhD Theses
Abstract: This research investigates and develops a new approach to the management of service quality with the emphasis on patient and staff satisfaction in the healthcare sector. The challenge of measuring the quality of service in healthcare requires us to view the problem from multiple perspectives. At the philosophical level, the true nature of quality is still debated; at the psychological level, an accurate conceptual representation is problematic; whilst at the physical level, an accurate measurement of the concept still remains elusive to practitioners and academics. This research focuses on the problem of quality measurement in the healthcare sector. The contributions of this research are fourfold: Firstly, it argues that from the technological point of view the research to date into quality of service in healthcare has not considered methods of real-time measurement and monitoring. This research identifies the key elements that are necessary for developing a real-time quality monitoring system for the healthcare environment.Secondly, a unique index is proposed for the monitoring and improvement of healthcare performance using information-theoretic entropy formalism. The index is formulated based on five key performance indicators and was tested as a Healthcare Quality Index (HQI) based on three key quality indicators of dignity, confidence and communication in an Accident and Emergency department. Thirdly, using an M/G/1 queuing model and its underlying Little’s Law, the concept of Effective Satisfaction in healthcare has been proposed. The concept is based on a Staff-Patient Satisfaction Relation Model (S-PSRM) developed using a patient satisfaction model and an empirically tested model developed for measuring staff satisfaction with workload (service time). The argument is presented that a synergy between patient satisfaction and staff satisfaction is the key to sustainable improvement in healthcare quality. The final contribution is the proposal of a Discrete Event Simulation (DES) modelling platform as a descriptive model that captures the random and stochastic nature of healthcare service provision process to prove the applicability of the proposed quality measurement models.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
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Dept of Design Theses

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