Harnessing the Power of Patient Experience

Harding, Robert, Norgren, Andreas, Goodman, Nick and Greenfields, Margaret (2019) Harnessing the Power of Patient Experience. Other. MES Civica Group Company.

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In our 2015 publication ‘Making Sense and Making Use of Patient Experience Data’ we explored whether the vast amount of patient experience and data collection activity was actually making a difference within health organisations. We concluded that, although there were many trusts using patient experience work to improve services, there was significant variation between (and within) organisations as to how well they did this. We outlined the critical factors for success, the challenges that needed to be overcome and several action points that could help organisations use patient experience activity effectively. ‘Harnessing the Power of Patient Experience’ continues that exploration into what is required to unlock the benefits. It’s an attempt to bring together the areas of work that we consider crucial for the successful creation of good patient experience. The chapters cover a wide range of topics and issues. This may seem disparate but, as was identified in our last paper, patient experience is an area of work that touches many communities, people, teams and work processes. Indeed, one of the main themes of this paper is ensuring proper attention is given to the many aspects that good patient experience depends on. We are not building the case for patient experience here. We consider that job already done as there are plenty of good papers published which cover the benefits and the ‘why’. Instead, this is an exploration into how the patient experience community can do things better with the resources available to them. In chapter one we look at how patient experience staff can ‘keep the energy going’ in the face of challenges, obstacles and frustration. We also discuss what can be done to elevate the importance of patient experience work in the board room. We learn that collaboration is key, as is the seeking out of ‘champions’ and networks to broaden the reach of work and potential for success. We also highlight the intrinsic link between good staff experience and good patient experience, and how the two should be thought of in tandem. Above all we stress that the success of patient experience work is as dependent on people as it is on systems, structure and data. Chapter two is written by David Gilbert and focuses on patient leadership. He takes us through the seven benefits that patients bring to improvement work. He sets out the barriers to patient involvement and how organisations should seek to address this. Patients should not be restricted to a ‘feedback mode’ where they’re asked for their opinion but no more. Likewise, their role should go beyond one of scrutiny where one or two patients are asked to bring ‘the patient perspective’ to other people’s interpretations. Instead, patients should be involved in the analysing, interpreting and decision-making surrounding patient experience data. David discusses the emergence of new roles, such as Patient Director and Patient Partners and how these roles present new opportunities for patient involvement. We discover that any learnings to be taken from patient experience data are dependent on the involvement and empowering of patients. In the third chapter we look at the importance of questioning data and how, if care is not taken, quantitative data can provide skewed insight. Taking our lead from previous research, we look at a small data set and, using research methodology, explore how demographics and method of collection can affect results. We note that the best decisions are the best informed ones. As such, the information gathering process must contain an element of scrutiny about what data is telling us – to ensure we are, indeed, well informed. We conclude that qualitative data has a big part to play in this. Chapter four explores, through a series of interviews, what can be done in patient experience work to address health inequalities. We interviewed several people working with groups often referred to as ‘seldom heard’ or ‘hard to reach’ to understand what the common barriers are and, importantly, what can be done to address inequality in health. While our interviewees pointed to changes at national level as crucial to addressing this problem, the chapter highlights the things that can be done at the micro level by teams and individuals, including those working in patient experience. ‘Reasonable adjustments’ can be made that will make a big difference. Patient experience staff can ensure that engagement activities go beyond a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Effort should be made to facilitate meaningful conversations with those who could be marginalised via the confines of ‘the system’. The chapter highlights that patient experience teams should seek to address health inequalities not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because they will find solutions and results that will benefit their wider work. Finally, Eleanor Barlow from our partner organisation Pansensic looks at how technology can help organisations harness the power of patient stories and patient comments. Eleanor discusses how, with new advances, we can bring qualitative analysis at scale into patient experience work (as opposed to solely focusing on numbers). Such technology can avoid decision-making which is subjective or based on a hunch. It also brings a much more realistic picture of the patient experience and standards of care – Eleanor explores cases where quantitative analysis alone has provided unwarranted assurance to NHS organisations. There are, however, certain things that must be considered to make the use of tech effective in qualitative analysis. We learn that context is everything and using technology that can analyse patient experience in context is key to making this work.

Item Type: Monograph (Other)
Keywords: Patient Experience
Depositing User: RED Unit Admin
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2019 09:39
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2019 09:39
URI: https://bnu.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/17790

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