Health Care Management Science

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 106–120 | Cite as

Service quality benchmarking via a novel approach based on fuzzy ELECTRE III and IPA: an empirical case involving the Italian public healthcare context

  • Concetta Manuela La FataEmail author
  • Toni Lupo
  • Tommaso Piazza


A novel fuzzy-based approach which combines ELECTRE III along with the Importance-Performance Analysis (IPA) is proposed in the present work to comparatively evaluate the service quality in the public healthcare context. Specifically, ELECTRE III is firstly considered to compare the service performance of examined hospitals in a noncompensatory manner. Afterwards, IPA is employed to support the service quality management to point out improvement needs and their priorities. The proposed approach also incorporates features of the Fuzzy Set Theory so as to address the possible uncertainty, subjectivity and vagueness of involved experts in evaluating the service quality. The model is applied to five major Sicilian public hospitals, and strengths and criticalities of the delivered service are finally highlighted and discussed. Although several approaches combining multi-criteria methods have already been proposed in the literature to evaluate the service performance in the healthcare field, to the best of the authors’ knowledge the present work represents the first attempt at comparing service performance of alternatives in a noncompensatory manner in the investigated context.


Service quality benchmarking Service quality management Healthcare quality ELECTRE III IPA Fuzzy set theory 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento dell’Innovazione Industriale e Digitale (DIID) – Ingegneria Chimica, Gestionale, Informatica, MeccanicaUniversità degli Studi di PalermoPalermoItaly
  2. 2.Università Ca’ FoscariVeneziaItaly

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