Employees' Assessment Of Customer Focus In A Tertiary Hospital In Southern Nigeria
The lack of customer focus in health services may yield poorly perceived and underutilized health services. Studies on consumer focus are needed for improved health services. The objective of the study was to assess employees' rating of customer focus in a hospital and to identify the associated sociodemographic factors. The study was conducted in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. A cross-sectional descriptive design was used. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and laboratory scientists were selected by proportionate random sampling as participants. The five items of the customer focus domain of the workforce version of Malcolm Baldrige tool 'Are we making progress?' were used by respondents to rate customer focus. A total of 253 health workers participated in the study. Of these, 202 (79.8%) reported that they regularly asked their customers what they needed and wanted; the percentages were similar across the different occupational groups. Compared to 70.6% of nurses and 72.0% of laboratory scientists and pharmacists, only 48.7% of doctors reported that they asked their patients if they were satisfied with their work (p = 0.002). Doctors were more likely than others to report that they were allowed to take decisions to solve problems for customers (p < 0.001). In conclusion, most employees rated customer focus positively. Capacity building for healthcare workers, especially doctors, is needed to improve customer focus in healthcare. Further studies on customer focus in health facilities are recommended.
Keywords: Customer focus; patient satisfaction; utilization of health services; Malcolm Baldrige; Nigeria.