Masters: Customer Satisfaction in the Metropolitan Ambulance Service

Scott Stewart (
Business, Victoria University, Melbourne Australia
June, 2016
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Scott Stewart has been a lecturer in Paramedic Science with Victoria University since 2005. Prior to this, Scott worked in a variety of areas including Zoological research, Secondary school Maths Science teacher and as a Paramedic.

In 2009/10 he took a sabbatical to work in the UK as a Senior Paramedic Lecturer at St George's University of London. During this time he taught UK and Gibraltarian paramedic, nursing and medical students. Scott has also been consulting with the South East Coast Ambulance Service, UK for the development of a critical care paramedic level.

He joined Ambulance Victoria in 1992 and undertook a number of clinical and educational roles developing skills and a passion for education during secondments to Monash University.

His Masters looked at "Customer Satisfaction in the Metropolitan Ambulance Service". Scott is currently undertaking a PhD titled "Preparedness of Australasian and UK paramedic Academics to teach Evidence Based Practice".


The field of customer satisfaction is complex and lacks clarity. Any technique that can bring order and predicability to the field is keenly sought. The partial least square methodology (PLSM) is a new means of modelling and predicting future outcomes. This research uses the partial least square modelling methodology to investigate and model the satisfaction of users of the Metropolitan Ambulance Service, Melbourne (MAS). The theories of Customer Satisfaction were reviewed then a definition of the concept established. The current state of the MAS was briefly discussed and the PLSM methodology was defined. Data collected from the MAS customer population was analysed by the PLSM method and by traditional statistical methods for comparative purposes. The results of the research demonstrated that the PLS methodology can be successfully applied to the field of satisfaction measurement of the ambulance service customer. Whilst uniquely modelling the determinants of customer satisfaction, it agreed with work by earlier researchers that particular aspects of staff behaviour were very important for high levels of customer satisfaction in the service industries. The model predicted that changes in the satisfaction rating of the staff variable would have a significant effect on overall satisfaction and critical consequential outcomes such as reuse and re-subscription. It also predicted that the overall model of customer satisfaction of MAS users was insensitive to changes with image, cost or equipment. An unexpected finding was that perceived medical ability was strongly linked to the paramedic's professional appearance. Implications of the finding are that MAS should pay close attention in the design and maintenance of the paramedic uniform. The relationship between a paramedic's professional appearance and their medical ability as perceived by a patient should be emphasised during training and professional development days. The very high importance of staff issues such as competence, friendliness, calmness and trustworthiness in regard to customer satisfaction reaffirms MAS attention and awareness of the matter. The research needs to been repeated within MAS to give a trend over time and a measure of the effectiveness of changes. To show that the methodology is widely applicable the research should be repeated using another ambulance service