Service quality in an Australian private dental network

Alan Baldwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose - This longitudinal research project seeks to monitor and report on the levels of patient satisfaction with the delivery of dental care provided by the Australian Unity Dental Centres (AUDC), which offer private dental care to people within Australia. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the above issue. Design/methodology/approach - The primary data gathering medium employed in this research was a survey based upon the SERVQUAL instrument. The research compares results obtained from the initial 2000 survey with the results of surveys conducted through to 2012. The key question addressed in this report is: how have patient perceptions of the service quality of care received at AUDC changed between the 2000 and 2012 survey periods? Findings - The level of expected service has improved over the study period, as has the level of perceived service delivered. A number of areas that would benefit from further improvement are identified and matched to specific actions that are being implemented by the business. Practical implications - A principal objective of the AUDC is to provide high-quality dental care to the patients. This objective can be best pursued through a regime that recognises that high-quality clinical outcomes are often dependent upon patients following recommended treatment pathways. This dependency pre-supposes that patients understand the treatment pathway s compliance requirements and, further, agree to comply with them. Originality/value - No other research projects have utilised eight iterations of SERVQUAL over a 13-year period in the dental service delivery sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360 - 367
Number of pages8
JournalThe TQM Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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