Recognition of the value of the patient perspective on services has led healthcare organizations to measure patient care experiences. A brief, generic and psychometrically sound scale to measure patient experiences in ambulatory/outpatient settings in Canada would be useful and is currently lacking. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate an English-language hospital-based ambulatory patient experience survey tool in a Canadian context. Based on a review of more than 20 instruments measuring experiences predominately in non-acute care settings, we initially selected 27 items to be included in the questionnaire, addressing quality dimensions of access, communication, continuity and coordination, shared decision making, emotional support, trust/confidence, privacy, patient-reported impact and physical environment. The survey instrument was subsequently tested among 1,219 ambulatory patients, and its psychometric properties were assessed. A final questionnaire was produced with 14 items and two emerging subscales: Patient–Provider Communication and Overall Quality of Experience, as determined by a factor analysis. The items within the scale showed high construct validity. Reliability was also excellent for the instrument. The applicability of this tool in supporting quality improvement initiatives is discussed.
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