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Turn Around Time of Histopathological Surgical Biopsies and Delivery of Medical Services at the Jos University Teaching Hospital

Author(s): Innocent Emmanuel

Introduction: The developing world is arguably characterized by backwardness or rudimentary political, social, and economic systems of which the health system is not immune to resulting in worst health indices. Pathology services in these climes which are characterized by system delay in obtaining and processing biopsy samples and reporting the results, with consequent delay the starting of treatment. The broad objective of this research study is to determine the impact of service delivery on the turn-around time of histopathological surgical biopsies in Nigerian public Health sector with reference to the Jos University Teaching Hospital. Specifically, the objectives of this research study are to investigate the impact of reliability, assurance, tangibility, empathy and responsiveness on the turn-around time of the laboratory.

Methodology: To meet these objectives, the original SERVQUAL instrument created by Parasuraman et al in 1985 with its 5 dimensions of service delivery and 22 questions thereof was adopted with some modifications. This questionnaire was distributed to 308 patients that sought the service of the Histopathology laboratory department in the hospital. 

Result: The research revealed a turn-around time of 3days to 30days with a mean of 12.83+3.14 days. The research established positive influence of tangibility and reliability (two of the five dimensions of service delivery) on turn-around time. The research also revealed that the remaining three dimensions of service delivery (assurance, empathy, and responsiveness) had no significant impact on turn-around time.

Conclusion: This study has shown that the SERVQUAL tool of service delivery can be used in assessing turn-around time in the histopathological laboratory. This is novel as to the best our knowledge this tool has never been employed in this regard. Furthermore, it brings to the fore the importance of tangibles and reliability as two important service delivery dimensions that have significant impact on the turn-around time of surgical biopsies in histopathological laboratories.



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