Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32451
Towards Better Quality in Healthcare and Operations Management: A Developmental Literature Review

Authors: Towards Better Quality in Healthcare, Operations Management: A Developmental Literature Review


This work presents the various perspectives, dimensions, components and definitions given to quality in the operations management (OM) and healthcare services (HCS) literature in time, highlighting gaps and learning opportunities between the two disciplines through a thorough search into their rich and distinct body of knowledge. Greater and new insights about the general nature of quality are obtained with findings such as in OM, quality has been approached in six fairly distinct paradigms (excellence, value, conformity to specifications, attributes, satisfaction and meeting or exceeding customer expectations), whereas in HCS, two approaches are prominent (Donabedian’s structure, process and outcomes model and Lohr and Schroeder’s circumscribed definition). The two disciplines views on quality seem to have progressed much in parallel with little cross-learning from each other. This work then proposes an encompassing definition of quality as a lever and suggests further research and development avenues for a better use of the concept of quality by academics and practitioners alike toward the goals of greater organizational performance and improved management in healthcare and possibly other service domains.

Keywords: Healthcare, management, operations, quality, services.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1120


[1] E. Duggal and H. V. Verma, “Service quality: construct comprehension and evolution over time”, Journal of Services Research, vol. 13, 2013, pp. 135-160.
[2] H. Giroux, H, “‘It Was Such a Handy Term’: Management Fashions and Pragmatic Ambiguity”, Journal of Management Studies, vol. 43, 2006, pp. 1227-1260.
[3] L. Huycke, L. and A. C. All, “Quality in health care and ethical principles”, Journal of Advanced Nursing, Vol. 32, 2000, pp. 562-71.
[4] W. C. Richardson, Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century, Committee on Quality Health Care in America, Institute of Medicine, Washington: National Academy Press, 2001, p. 1-22.
[5] A. M. Mosadeghrad, “Healthcare service quality: towards a broad definition”, International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 26, 2013, pp. 203-219.
[6] A. Pilkington and J. Meredith, “The evolution of the intellectual structure of operations management—1980–2006: A citation/co-citation analysis”, Journal of Operations Management, vol. 27, 2009, pp. 185–202.
[7] M. Templier and G. Paré, “A Framework for Guiding and Evaluating Literature Reviews”, Communications of the Association for Information Systems, vol. 37, 2015, pp. 112-137.
[8] K. Ferdows and A. De Meyer, “Lasting improvements in manufacturing performance: in search of a new theory”, Journal of operations management, Vol. 9, 1990, pp. 168-184.
[9] W. E. Deming, “Out of crisis”, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1986, pp. 23-90.
[10] L. G. Sprague, “Evolution of the field of operations management”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 25, 2007, pp. 219–238.
[11] C.A. Reeves and D.A. Bednar, “Defining quality: alternatives and implications”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 19, 1994, pp. 419-445.
[12] D. A. Garvin, “What does ‘Product Quality’really mean?”, Sloan Management Review, vol. 26, 1984, pp. 25-43.
[13] M. Löfgren, M. and L. Wittell, “Two Decades of Using Kano’s Theory of Attractive Quality: A Literature Review”, The Quality Management Journal, vol. 15, 2008, pp. 59-76.
[14] A. Parasuraman, V. A. Zeithaml and L. L. Berry, L. L., “A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research”, The Journal of Marketing, vol. 49, 1985, pp. 41-50.
[15] R. Buzzell and B. Gale, The PIMS principles: Linking strategy to performance, New York: Free Press, 1987, pp 103-134.
[16] S. Haddad, D. Roberge and R. Pineault, R., “Comprendre la qualité: en reconnaître la complexité”, Ruptures – Revue transdisciplinaire en santé, vol. 4, 1997, pp. 59-78.
[17], access date 17-01-2018.
[18] J. M. Juran, Quality Control Handbook, 2nd edition, New-York: McGraw-Hill Book company, Inc., 1962, pp. 1.1 – 1.13.
[19] L. L. Berry and N. Bendapudi, “Heath Care - A Fertile Field for Service Research”, Journal of Service Research, vol. 10, 2007, pp. 111-122.
[20] R. G. Schroeder, R. G. K. Linderman, C. Liedtke and A.S. Choo, “Six Sigma: Definition and underlying theory”, Journal of Operations Management, vol. 26, 2008, pp. 536-554.
[21] J. R. Hackman and R. Wageman, R., “Total quality management: Empirical, conceptual, and practical issues”, Administrative Science Quarterly, vol. 40, 1995, pp. 309-342.
[22] L. Boyd and M. Gupta, “Constraints management What is the theory?”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 24, 2004, pp. 350-371.
[23] J. Pettersen, J., “Defining lean production: some conceptual and practical issues”, The TQM Journal, vol. 21, 2009, pp. 127-142.
[24] R. W. Schmenner and M.L. Swink, “On theory in operations management”, Journal of Operations Management, vol. 17, 1998, pp. 97-113.
[25] J. Paquette, F. Bellavance, J.-F. Cordeau and G. Laporte., “Measuring quality of service in dial-a-ride operations: the case of a Canadian city”, Transportation, vol. 39, 2012, pp. 539-564.
[26] A. Shahin and M. Zairi, “Kano model: A dynamic approach for classifying and prioritising requirements or airline travellers with three case studies on international airlines”, Total Quality Management, Vol. 20, 2009, pp. 1003-1028.
[27] C. Grönross, “A service quality model and its marketing implications”, European Journal of Marketing, vol. 18, 1984, pp. 36-44.
[28] L. L. Berry, A. Parasuraman and V.A. Zeithmal, “Improving service quality in America: lessons learned”, Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 8, 1994, pp. 32-45.
[29] R. Ladhari, “A review of twenty years of SERVQUAL research", International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 1, 2009, pp. 172-198.
[30] N. Seth, S. G. Deshmukh and P. Vrat, P., “Service quality models: a review”, International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 22, 2005, pp. 913-949.
[31] M. K. Brady and J. C. Cronin, “Some New Thoughts on Conceptualizing Perceived Service Quality: A Hierarchical Approach”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 65, 2001, pp. 34-49.
[32] R. K. Tyagi, N. Varma and V. Navneet, “An Integrated Framework for Service Quality: SQBOK Perspective”, The Quality Management Journal, vol. 20, 2013, pp. 34-47.
[33] R. Sousa and C. Voss, “Quality management re-visited: a reflective review and agenda for future research”, Journal of Operations Management, vol. 20, 2002, pp. 91-109.
[34] A.V. Roth, “World class health care”, Qual Mngt in Health, vol. 1, 1993, pp. 1-9.
[35] A. Donabedian, “Evaluating the Quality of Medical Care”, The Millbank Memorial Fund Quarterly, vol. 44, 1966, pp. 166-206.
[36] S. M. Campbell, M. O. Roland and S. A. Buetow, “Defining quality of care”. Soc Sci Med., vol. 51, 2000, pp. 1611–1625.
[37] M. J. Bitner, “Servicescapes: the impact of physical surroundings on customers and employees”, Journal of Marketing, vol. 56, 1992, pp. 57-71.
[38] K. N. Lohr K. N. and S. A. Schroeder, “A strategy for quality assurance in Medicare”, The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 322, 1990, pp. 707-712.
[39] M. R. Chassin, “Is Health Care ready for Six Sigma Quality?”, The Milbank Quarterly, vol. 76, 1998, pp. 565-591.
[40] M. S. Donaldson, Measuring the Quality of Health Care: A Statement by the National Roundtable on Healthcare Quality, Washington: National Academy Press, 1999, pp 1-32.
[41] J. Kitts, C. Cook, C. Doiron, C. Frank, D. Kendel, M. Moffatt, M. Ramsden, I. Sketris, L. Vertesi, G. White, .J. Wright and B. Cooper, Quelle voie mène à la qualité: Principales perspectives sur l’amélioration de la qualité des systèmes de soins de santé au Canada, Toronto : Conseil canadien de la santé, 2013, pp. 1-46.
[42] Z. Radnor, Z., “Muddled, massging, manoeuvring or manipulated? A typology of organizational gaming”, International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 57, 2008, pp. 316-328.
[43] V. Eiriz and J. A. Figueiredo, “Quality evaluation in health care services based on customer-provider relationships”, International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 18, 2005, pp. 404-412.
[44] O. A. Arah, N. S. Klazinga, D. M. J. Delnoij, A. H. A. Ten Asbroek and T. Custers, “Conceptual framework for health systems performance: a quest for effectiveness, quality, and improvement”, International Journal for Quality in Health Care, vol. 15, 2003, pp. 377-398.
[45] M.-P. Pomey and C. Safianyk, C., “L’évaluation externe de la qualité des soins et des services sociaux au Québec : Quels acteurs ? Quelles leçons? ”, Le point en administration de la santé et des services sociaux, 2007, pp. 1-12.
[46] S. L. Vargo and R. F. Lusch, R. F., “Evolving to a new dominant logic for marketing”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 68, 2004, pp. 1-17.
[47] D. L. Little, “Toward understanding physician attitudes in quality management”, Trustee, vol. 41, 1988, pp. 11.
[48] J. P. Womack, D. T. Jones and D. Roos, The Machine That Changed the World, Rawson Associates, New York, 1990.
[49] P. A. Charmel, “Defining and Evaluation Excellence in Patient-Centered Care”, Frontiers in Health Services Management, vol. 26, 2010, pp. 27-34.
[50] B. Cliff, “The Evolution of Patient-Centered Care”, Journal of Healthcare Management, vol. 57, 2012, pp. 86-88.
[51] H. Giroux, “Pourquoi suivons-nous les modes en gestion?”, Gestion, vol. 32. 2008, pp 10-19.
[52] C. J. Gearon, “Planetree (25 years older)”, Hospitals and Health Networks, vol. 76, 2002, pp. 40-43.
[53] M. R. Chassin, “Quality of Care – Time to Act”, Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 266, 1991, pp. 3472-3.
[54] C. Voss, A. V. Roth, R. B. Chase, “Experience, Service Operations Strategy, and Services as Destinations: Foundations and Exploratory Investigation”, Production and Operations Management, vol. 17, 2008, pp. 247–266.