Friday, September 06, 2013

Learning from patients, made easy and effective

An article in The Guardian tells of a lovely and simple approach for really listening to patients and using their feedback, from Spiral Health's 40-bed rehab center in Blackpool (UK). Thanks to Samantha Riley, Director of Insight at NHS England, for the tip.  Excerpts:

A group of people representing all stakeholders in our hospital community – managers, healthcare assistants, therapists, nurses and patients – gather together to analyse patient feedback and decide on action points. Our staff and patients have loved being involved, and it is interesting to hear feedback on problematic issues from so many different perspectives.

Before we start, we collect patient views by conducting friendly bedside interviews. Each patient is asked to talk to us about two things that are working, two things that are not working and two things that people would like to see if they came back to the unit again. The interviews are more of a chat than a formal process and we work hard to make patients feel at ease. We also remind them that negative feedback is as important as glowing praise. Older generations sometimes don't like to make a fuss, even if something is troubling them.

As we are determined to be open and honest about the feedback we receive – negative and positive – we have a display in our reception area that highlights issues raised and what we are working on.

Some people have said we are brave to invite criticism, but we feel strongly that if we are going to be truly patient-centred we must listen hard to them and learn from them. If we were just content to ask tick-box questions of our patients, would the results really be worth the paper they were written on?

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