The availability of health care to all individuals is one of the main sustainable development goals of the modern world, and one of the main policy objectives of the World Health Organization. The aim of universal health care is to provide health security and equal access to health care to everyone while achieving an adequate level of health care quality as well. Achieving these goals is important both in terms of promoting societal equality as well as achieving higher economical productivity. Another important aspect in achieving universal health care is cost effectiveness. With the ever growing costs of healthcare, governments around the world are looking for ways to simultaneously achieve cost and care efficiency. Over the past couple of years, integrated care has been widely used as a way to achieve the somewhat contradicting goals of improving population health, managing healthcare costs and promoting new ways of healthcare organization. One of the outcomes of successful integrated care strategies should be an increase in overall health care quality. Health care quality can be defined as the degree to which health care services increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes for their users. Health care quality can be assessed both from the user and service provider perspective. Although a number of authors have analysed health care quality from the user perspective there are still ambiguous findings regarding the user perceptions of integrated care strategies implemented in their health care systems. In order to shed more light on this understudied issue, this paper will analyse the user perception of integrated health care quality in primary health care institutions in Croatia.
Aims and objectives
The aim of this paper is to analyse the understudied user perception of integrated health care quality in primary health care institutions in Croatia in order to provide recommendations for integrated care quality improvement. The aim of the authors in the future is to include healthcare providers in the questionnaire in order to be able to provide more detailed recommendations on integrated care enhancement methods.
This paper will use the SERVQUAL survey for service quality assessment in order to analyse the perception of integrated health care quality in primary health care institutions in Croatia and explore the differences between user expectations and perceptions. The research will be conducted from October to December 2019 in randomly selected primary health institutions in different parts of Croatia.
The findings of the paper are expected to be used by health care professionals as well as policy makers in order to enhance integrated care strategies in the Croatian health care system.
How to Cite:
Damić M. User Perception of Integrated Health Care Quality: The Case of Croatia. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2021;21(S1):291. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.ICIC20239