Using the customer service framework to successfully implement patient- and family-centered care

Pavani Rangachari, Anita Ashok Bhat, Yoonho Seol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Despite the growing momentum toward patient- and family-centered care at the federal policy level, the organizational literature remains divided on its effectiveness, especially in regard to its key dimension of involving patients and families in treatment decisions and safety practices. Although some have argued for the universal adoption of patient involvement, others have questioned both the effectiveness and feasibility of patient involvement. In this article, we apply a well-established theoretical perspective, that is, the Service Quality Model (SQM) (also known as the "customer service framework") to the health care context, to reconcile the debate related to patient involvement. The application helps support the case for universal adoption of patient involvement and also question the arguments against it. A key contribution of the SQM lies in highlighting a set of fundamental service quality determinants emanating from basic consumer service needs. It also provides a simple framework for understanding how gaps between consumer expectations and management perceptions of those expectations can affect the gap between "expected" and "perceived" service quality from a consumer's perspective. Simultaneously, the SQM also outlines "management requirements" for the successful implementation of a customer service strategy. Applying the SQM to the health care context therefore, in addition to reconciling the debate on patient involvement, helps identify specific steps health care managers could take to successfully implement patient- and family-centered care. Correspondingly, the application also provides insights into strategies for the successful

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-197
Number of pages19
JournalQuality management in health care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011


  • Customer service
  • JCAHO PFCC standards
  • health literacy
  • implementation of PFCC
  • organizational culture
  • patient involvement
  • patient-centered care
  • quality improvement
  • service quality model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning


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