A foundational part of quality improvement in healthcare is the idea that quality and value will be determined by how closely any process aligns with the health goals of the patient. All quality metrics ultimately recapitulate that foundational assertion, yet very few metrics are designed to measure from the patient’s perspective. This micro-study attempts to identify elements of the patient experience of the careflow and put us on a path to renovating quality metrics.


 

My colleagues and I are conducting a micro-study on the voice of the patient in the care process, and looking for interview participants, donors, and people willing to spread the word.

What’s the issue?

Although much has been written and said on the importance of patient-centeredness in healthcare, there is insufficient material in the research on what medical care looks like from the patient perspective. Few performance measurements or quality & safety metrics are based on patient perspectives, and few monitor the patient’s journey through the end-to-end care process – the careflow.

Why is this a problem?

The lack of research into the patient perspectives of the care process leads to operational metrics that overemphasize perspectives other than those of the patient or their caregivers, and under-emphasize the patient voice in documentation and monitoring of care value chains. As a result, healthcare is often not focused on patients, but on operational performance, revenue, or what clinicians think patients want – Care quality is lower, and medical errors are higher.

What we need to understand is how patients experience the care journey, and to identify the “voice of the patient” in the careflow.

What are we doing?

This micro research project seeks to understand key experiences of the patient’s journey. The project will focus on the radiology care pathway, and the patient journey through the end-to-end experience, from initial encounter that decided on a radiological service, to the final discussion of findings, and billing for radiology services. One aspect the study will seek to illuminate is the opportunity to establish patient reported outcomes (PRO) measurements. PRO metrics will be a BIG DEAL in improving the care experience and reducing medical mistakes.

We are starting with the radiology journey because it is often the least understood from a patient’s point of view, and is one of the areas where the processes are most open to change. Future micro-research projects will address other clinical specialties, but what we learn in this one will help in all areas.

The team will interview patients and caregivers in 60-90 minute online calls, and any results will be published online.

The team will ask participants to reflect on their journey through the end-to-end process in radiology, and to describe the instances in which they experienced surprise, frustration, or confusion. Participants will also be asked what they felt worked well for them during their journey, and what didn’t work well. Participants will be eligible for a $25 gift card in recognition of their help.

Privacy

Recordings and transcripts generated from interviews will be seen only by the listed project team members, and will be destroyed at project close to safeguard participant anonymity.

How to Participate

There are three ways to participate in this study: as an interviewee, as a donor, or as a social media supporter. If you have experienced radiology as a patient or a care-giver, then we would love to interview you and hear about your experience. If you have a few dollars to spare, you can help fund the interviews by donating to our GoFundMe page. If you have no experience with radiology, or don’t wish to be interviewed, you could still help a lot by spreading the word to your colleagues and social network.

How to contact the project team

The primary way to contact the team is via email at Q-Research@wbbinc.com, but you can also contact the lead researcher on twitter at @mloxton, or on LinkedIn.

Sponsorship

There are no institutional sponsors for the work, but WBB Inc will provide infrastructural support, and MAXQDA will provide the qualitative data analysis software. Funding for the project administrative costs and the gift cards will be secured via donations on GoFundMe.

At close of the project, any excess funds will be donated to the Blue Faery Liver Cancer Association