HealthcarePapers

HealthcarePapers 17(2) October 2017 : 22-29.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2017.25414
Commentary

Measuring Patient Experiences: Is It Meaningful and Actionable?

Sabrina T. Wong, Sharon Johnston, Fred Burge, Kim McGrail and William Hogg

Abstract

Performance measurement must be meaningful to those being asked to contribute data and to the clinicians who are collecting the information. It must be actionable if performance measurement and reporting is to influence health system transformation. To date, measuring patient experiences in all parts of the healthcare system in Canada lags behind other countries. More attention needs to be paid to capturing patients with complex intersecting health and social problems that result from inequitable distribution of wealth and/or underlying structural inequities related to systemic issues such as racism and discrimination, colonialism and patriarchy. Efforts to better capture the experiences of patients who do not regularly access care and who speak English or French as a second language are also needed. Before investing heavily into collecting patient experience data as part of a performance measurement system the following ought to be considered: (1) ensuring value for and buy-in from clinicians who are being asked to collect the data and/or act on the results; (2) investment in the infrastructure to administer iterative, cost-effective patient/family experience data collection, analysis and reporting (e.g., automated software tools) and (3) incorporating practice support (e.g., facilitation) and health system opportunities to integrate the findings from patient experience surveys into policy and practice. Investment into the infrastructure of measuring, reporting and engaging clinicians in improving practice is needed for patient/caregiver experiences to be acted upon.

 

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