Configural Algorithms of Patient Satisfaction, Participation in Diagnostics, and Treatment Decisions' Influences on Hospital Loyalty
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Purpose – This empirical study aims to explore sufficiency conditions for patient loyalty to a hospital.Design/methodology/approach – The study collected 645 self-administered questionnaires from patients in a major medical center in Taiwan andapplied fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fs/QCA) to explore the sufficiency conditions for patient loyalty.Findings – The findings support the conclusion that the three conditions (patient satisfaction, patient participation in the process of diagnosis, andpatient participation in treatment decision-making) in combination are sufficient for high patient loyalty to the hospital but high patient satisfactionalone is insufficient. While the three conditions in configural algorithm are sufficient, this expression is not necessary, which means the findings do notreject possible alternative conditions for high patient loyalty.Research limitations/implications – The study applies a relatively new method, fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fs/QCA) to test thesufficiency proposition of the theory. This method enables researchers to focus on examining sufficient conditions without worrying about variousconfounding factors and informs this study’s conclusion that patients exhibiting high scores in all three conditions mentioned above constitute a nearperfectsubset of highly loyal patients. Hospitals thus should provide their satisfied patients opportunities to share a role in the process of diagnosis andtreatment decision-making.Originality/value – Along with patient satisfaction, this study clearly identifies two important stages of patient participation (i.e., participation in theprocess of diagnosis and treatment decision-making) that are important in forming patient loyalty to a hospital. Prior studies do not present empiricalevidence to this proposition.
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