Service encounter design and patients’ revisit behaviour of public hospitals in Port Harcourt
OTSU Pius Awua-Ikhia, KALU Sylva Ezema
The aim of this paper was to empirically ascertain the effect of service encounter design on patients’ revisit behaviour of public hospitals in Port Harcourt. While the study adopted cross-sectional survey design in accessing the research subjects, a total of 160 patients of government owned hospitals were surveyed. Basically, 4 public hospitals were used and 40 copies of the research instrument were administered to patients present in each of the 4 hospitals. Four hypotheses were formulated and tested statistically with Pearson Product Moment Coefficient. Results revealed that the dimensions of service encounter design (service flexibility and service friendliness) have positive and significant relationship with the measures of patients’ revisit behaviour (satisfaction and referral). The study therefore concludes that service encounter design has a strong influence on patients revisit behaviour. Based on the conclusion, the study recommends that management of public hospitals that want to improve on patients revisit behaviour should design their services to not only be friendly but also provide for easy adjustment to effectively respond to any slight changes in patients’ taste and preference as this will enhance patients’ satisfaction and positive word-of-mouth.