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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


JUNYENT, Imma et al. Quality evaluation in public health: the case of an animal shelter. Gac Sanit [online]. 2009, vol.23, n.5, pp.440-443. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: There is growing interest in integrating quality approaches to the management of public services. The aim of the present study was to develop a comprehensive evaluation of service quality in the animal shelter managed by the public health services of the city of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). Methods: An evaluation study with three components was performed. Trends in the shelter's activity indicators (2000-2006) were analyzed, compliance with current regulations and protocols was assessed with an internal audit (2006), and user-customer satisfaction was measured with a survey based on the SERVPERF model (2006). Results: The number of animals put to sleep was reduced by almost 70% and the number of adoptions increased. The audit detected 10 non-conformities (3.2% of items), none of which was related to customer service. In the satisfaction survey, the quality dimensions with the highest scores were safety (94.2%) and empathy (81.8%). The emergence of behavioral problems (p=0.039) or health problems (p=0.068) in the adopted animals had a negative influence on quality perception among adopters. Conclusions: A comprehensive scheme for the evaluation of this service is feasible. There is compliance with established protocols and regulations. The results of the survey show a high degree of user satisfaction.

Keywords : Organization and administration; Public health; Domestic animals; Evaluation studies; Quality indicators.

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