Publication Details

Akter, S., D'Ambra, J. & Ray, P. (2011). Perceived service quality in health services employing virtual channels. 40th Academy of Marketing Science Conference (pp. 1-4). Florida, USA: Academy of Marketing Science.


Health service over a virtual channel (e.g., mobile phone , web etc.) has emerged as a viable solution to serve the pressing healthcare needs through its high reach and low cost solution. According to Sousa & Voss (2006), “A virtual channel refers to a means of communication using advanced telecommunications, information, and multimedia technologies” . In this study, we focus on mobile health services ( mHealth) , which is defined as an interactive medical service over a mobile platform ( e.g., mobile phone , PDA ) containing both virtual ( e.g., e - referral, e - prescription etc.) and physical service components ( e.g., treatment consultation with doctors) ( see Exhibit 1). mHealth is seen as a transformative service for shifting the care paradigm from crisis intervention to promoting wellness, prevention, and self - management (Ostrom et al. 2010; Kaplan & Litewka 2008). Though mHealth is transforming healthcare delivery around the world; however, there are growing concerns about the perceived quality of such services due to lack of reliability of the system , knowledge and competence of the provider, privacy and security of information and above all, their effects on patient satisfaction . A review of the literature reveals that there is a paucity of service quality research in this domain and most of the studies are largely fragmented and anecdotal. Thus, this study fills these voids by aiming to conceptualise a perceived service quality model for health services over a virtual channel, especially in the context of mobile health services.

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