Measuring health care quality: comparing and contrasting the medical and the marketing approaches

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Consumer Satisfaction; Health Services Research; Humans; *Marketing of Health Services; *Patient Satisfaction; Quality Assurance, Health Care; Quality Indicators, Health Care; *Treatment Outcome


Bioinformatics | Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


Health care quality, a key concept for medical practice and research, is also a widely used construct in health care administration and marketing research. We explored discipline-specific differences in the definition of quality, with the intent of finding a more unified approach. We summarized definitions and basic conceptual approaches to quality in both disciplines and then compared them on several attributes: basic goals, sources of measurement, role of patient perceptions, role of health care personnel, and need for risk adjustment. We developed a conceptual model combining the 2 approaches. Both disciplines could benefit from broadening their outcome measures. Patient satisfaction deserves more attention from medical researchers, whereas marketing approaches should go beyond using patient satisfaction as the only outcome of interest. It is conceptually feasible to integrate medical and marketing approaches to quality, with important insights resulting from this integration.


Am J Med Qual. 2002 Jul-Aug;17(4):136-44.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of medical quality : the official journal of the American College of Medical Quality

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed