Measuring patient experience in primary care
A recent study commissioned by the Department of Health looking at patient experience in primary care has reported findings on ‘what matters most’ to patients.
The National Nursing Research Unit (NNRU) and King's Fund study aimed to understand whether a patient's condition affected what they want from their care and which features of care patients consider most important. The study methodology included 50 narrative based interviews with patients with one or more of the following conditions: COPD, depression, stroke, diabetes and elective hip replacement.
The study reported that the following aspects of care mattered to all patients:
- Being treated as a person
- Staff who listen and spend time with them
- Individualised treatment
- Feeling well informed, receiving information and being given options
- Patient involvement and efficient processes
- Both emotional and psychological support
One of their key overall findings was 'the strong emphasis patients placed on the relational aspects of their experience, such as dignity, empathy and emotional support'. The authors argue that relational aspects of a patient's experience must be taken into account alongside the more 'functional or transactional' aspects, such as waiting times and access.
They conclude that 'providing a good patient experience in primary care settings is similar to acute care in that it is multi-dimensional', and although some aspects of a patient's experience are specific to their condition 'it is commonly the relational aspects of care which mattered most to all patients in primary care settings'. Overall they believe that 'a generic framework can be applied to a wide range of conditions, treatments and settings'.
Read more about this research on the Kings College London website.