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Patient feedback as a way to improve quality of care

Patient feedback as a way to improve quality of care

Reeves, Rachel and West, Elizabeth (2014) Patient feedback as a way to improve quality of care. British Medical Journal (BMJ), 348 (apr29):g2953. ISSN 0959-8138 (Print), 1756-1833 (Online) (doi:

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We agree with Coulter and colleagues that patient experience data should be used more effectively, but introducing another NHS data collating/analysing body could be counterproductive if the implicit assumption is that all data are (more or less) equally valid. Poorly collected data detract from scientifically valid data. The recent proliferation of 1Crapid 1D patient feedback focuses attention on quick fixes at the expense of tackling long term problems. Annual national patient surveys from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) conform to recognised methodological standards. Samples are representative of the patient population; reminders to non-responders maximise response rates; good response rates are achieved from ethnic minorities and elderly patients; questions are pre-tested for comprehensibility; patients may add their own comments; and data are not collected by ward staff. Many other methods of gathering patient experience data (such as the friends and family test) meet few of those criteria. The CQC 19s surveys could be improved if they were ward specific (to counter 1Cthat doesn 19t happen on my ward 1D), but, in common with other methods, their main failing is too little emphasis on actively feeding back findings to the people responsible for delivering day to day care. Our recent pilot randomised controlled trial showed that facilitated meetings with nurses to discuss their own ward specific patient survey results had a highly significant impact on survey scores, whereas written survey results alone had no impact. The meetings often entailed difficult conversations: some nurses were reluctant to believe negative feedback; others were hurt, defensive, or critical of patients in return. Patients 19 comments were more effective than statistics in capturing nurses 19 interest, but concomitant descriptive statistics were needed to distinguish isolated incidents from general problems. Our main point is that, whereas Coulter and colleagues recommend collating and triangulating data, we advocate further trials to test methods of using patient feedback to improve the quality of care.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Patient experience; Patient surveys; Patient feedback; Randomised controlled trial
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Health Sciences (HEA)
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2021 21:03

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