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Why use patient experience data?

Patient experience is one of the three main pillars of quality of care, alongside safety and effectiveness. Evidence (see the box below) suggests that good patient experience is associated with better clinical safety and effectiveness, as well as improved staff morale and retention, lower operating costs and lower lengths of stay (‘organisational outcomes’).

When we’re looking at any kind of quality improvement, we need to be mindful that that the improvements are coming from actual patient experience.

Grant Mann
Charge nurse, clinical integration, University College London Hospital

Useful reading: evidence for the value of patient experience data

Anhang Price R, Elliott MN, Zaslavsky AM et al (2014) Examining the role of patient experience surveys in measuring health care quality. Medical Care Research and Review 71 (5): 522-54

Charmel PA, Frampton SB (2008) Building the business case for patient-centered care. Healthcare Finance Management 62 (3): 80-85

Edgcumbe DP (2009) Patients’ perceptions of hospital cleanliness are correlated with rates of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia. Journal of Hospital Infection 71 (1): 99-101

Jha AK, Orav EJ, Zheng J, Epstein AM (2008) Patients’ perception of hospital care in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine 359 (18): 1921-31

Maben J, Peccei R, Adams M, Robert G et al (2012) Patients’ experiences of care and the influence of staff motivation, affect and wellbeing. Final report. Southampton: NIHR

Meterko M, Wright S, Lin H (2010) Mortality among patients with acute myocardial infarction: the influences of patient-centered care and evidence-based medicine. Health Services Research 45 (5, 1): 1188-204

Murff HJ, France DJ, Blackford J et al (2006) Relationship between patient complaints and surgical complications. Quality and Safety in Health Care 15 (1): 13-16

Quality of care

Patient experience

Patient safety

Effectiveness of care

Source: Darzi A (2008) High Quality Care For All – NHS Next Stage Review Final Report. London: Department of Health, p 47

If we want to improve patient experience, it makes sense to find out what patients think, and to use this information constructively. The things that staff assume need to change may not match up with the things that matter most to patients.

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