The Implications of Automation in Healthcare Operations to Improve Customer Happiness in SEHA Hospitals
: Case Study in Tawam Hospital

  • Aj Al Jneibi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


purpose and importance of the research study was of automation in healthcare operations to improve customer happiness with its implications. Patients' satisfaction is likened to customer happiness which has become one of the many critical issues for governments to prioritise in keeping their citizens and residents happy. The aim of the study was to determine the implications of operational automation on customer happiness in the hospital environment. The case study was conducted at the Tawam Hospital, a part of the SEHA Hospitals network in the UAE that is a governmental public enterprise. While applications of technology, tools and techniques in hospitals health care services are widely advocated, determining customer happiness has become enormously important. The focus of the study was the Out-Patient-Department (OPD) System involving the patients' interface and interaction with the hospital's self-registration system, registration team, nursing team, and physicians for an overall OPD system's patients' assessment. The research problem identified was the OPD system's process and activities challenges that are automated with an aim to provide a solution through use of technology automation for customer happiness improvement. The research methodology followed a positivism research paradigm with a deductive approach, emphasising more on the quantitative aspect to study the phenomena through empirical observations followed by quantitative measurements. This study analyses the patient's experience in the OPD of hospital data collected with respect to patients' interactions in the OPD system. The research design was based on the research aims and objectives using a case study method with an explanatory outlook and evaluated for its validity, reliability and generalisability aspects and ethical considerations. Data from 818 patients were utilised for data Analysis using SPSS and testing done for 15 Hypothesis for relationships of the five independent variables of: self-registration system, registration team, nursing team, and physicians for an overall OPD system's patients' assessment to the three dependent variables of: gender, age, and time spent at in the OPD system. The results are very interesting to indicate that automation has varying positive effects of low, moderate and high increases in the level of customer happiness in the hospital's OPD system. The implications of which can be generalized and replicated for other customer interface systems across the hospital and the network of hospitals. Speedy-evolving technologies and growing consumerism, along with changing demographic and economic changes, are expected to disrupt hospitals operations. The future scope of such studies' findings can be interpreted and applicable for other operational efficiencies and effectiveness through technological and automated applications in digital supply chains, robotics, and next-generation interoperability for better operations management across from front-end to back-end. These could serve as the researcher's recommendations for top management and decision-makers in public hospitals.
Date of Award2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorReyer Zwiggelaar (Supervisor) & Bernie Tiddeman (Supervisor)

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