To prepare for managed competition, many hospitals now focus on service quality as a means to improve their competitive position. To aid in decisions about where best to direct limited resources, managers need physician feedback about how the hospital's services compare with its competitors' services (competitive advantage) and about the degree to which the hospital's services fall short of, meet, or exceed physicians' expectations (customer satisfaction). This article describes a strategy for acquiring information about competitive advantage and customer satisfaction and for using the information to identify optimal service improvement opportunities. It then presents a step-by-step application of the Quality Improvement Strategy (QlS) for a large urban hospital.
(C) 1994 Aspen Publishers, Inc.