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There is nothing that is a moving-target all over the world as much as quality service. If you give a customer good service today, he will soon get used to it and when he shows up tomorrow, he is looking forward to better service. We are all customers in one way or the other, and like little children, that you have spoilt with too much attention and are always crying for more attention, customers are so soon looking for better service all the time.

I will use the product life cycle concept to explain the relationship of the moving target phenomenon in quality healthcare delivery. The product life cycle concept is an idea that was developed to describe the stages that  a product or service goes through upon its introduction into the market up to the time the product or service dies, that is, loses market reckoning. The graph of the product life cycle is U shape placed upside down.The first stage is the introduction of the product or service.

Every new product is received with great enthusiasm into the market. So many people rush to patronize the new product because people are always enthralled with new things. The love for new things helps that product to start growing in terms of market acceptance and if it is actually very good in terms of its usefulness, i mean utility in the estimation of users, it continues to grow in terms of patronage. The growing stage is the growth stage of the product life cycle. The fast growth may inspire competitors to come into the same market to take advantage of the profit that product is making. The activities of competitors may make the growth of that product to start to slow down and eventually the rate of growth flattens out. If nothing is done to make buyers continue to buy that existing product, it may start to decline in terms of sales and market relevance. The decline may result into the eventual death or collapse of the demand for that product altogether.

What is the relevance of the product life cycle concept to healthcare quality development? When you set a quality target for your healthcare practice, patients, who are the customers will be quite excited with the presumably good service they are getting from you. As soon as they get used to that service, or even when other healthcare providers up their quality service game and square up with you, the patients begin to expect better service than what they used to experience with you. If you refuse to do much to up your game again, you may see your patients start going elsewhere or start trying other healthcare service providers. It is not that you don’t have a good quality set up, the truth is that the expectation of the market has gone up and if you have not measured up to the new syllabus of healthcare service delivery, your practice may witness patronage decline and God forbid, it may lead to eventual collapse if serious care is not taken to address the issue.

In the next post we will look at strategies to up your quality service game when you notice a decline in patronage and you suspect that your customers, i.e. patients may have switched allegiance to start patronizing others.

Kola Owolabi:- (FIMC) Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants (with certifications in Healthcare Organizations Operations and Qualify Improvement in Healthcare Organizations)

08023203198 He is the Principal Consultant of Healing Balm Health Consult, a Healthcare Consultancy services organization involved in the training of healthcare practitioners, particularly on issues concerning putting in place quality improvement culture . He has consulted for prominent Healthcare organizations in the world, including the United States largest maker of minimally invasive cardiological devices, Nigeria’s most prominent firm of opthalmologists and opticians and several others.

To receive more information please text “SEND MORE INFO on your  Healthcare Short Courses and Quality Service Improvement Programmes”  by WhatsApp to  09031911326

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