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How to make patient/client participation a success?

Posted by Bianca Beentjes on May 14 2019
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How to make patient participation a success?

There is a growing recognition that actively listening to experiences of patients/clients and their relatives can substantially improve the quality and safety of care, without major change processes being necessary. We call this patient/client participation.

The previous blogs described how to select the right tool and participants. This blogs explains how to make success of patient participation.

Make sure that the organisation learns from the results obtained

Patient participation is not an end in itself, but a means to implement quality improvements in healthcare. Key to successful patient and client participation, irrespective of the steps and tools applied, is that the results that are obtained are followed up.

The main pitfall after completion of participation is that patients’/clients’ preferences and needs are clear, but that nothing is done with the information obtained. 

Actively improving quality of care is the most important next step. The following points are important when considering subsequent steps:

  1. Make sure that feedback is given on the information that was obtained by using the tool:
  • Who provides feedback?
  • Who should receive feedback on the information received? This may, for example, include staff members, Board of Directors, patients.
  • How will feedback be provided? For example in the form of a presentation, poster, website, article in hospital newsletter or regional newspaper?
  1. Determine what will be done with the results:
  • Who translates the information into concrete improvement actions?
  • Who determines the priorities within the improvement actions?
  • Who is responsible for the improvement actions?
  1. Formulate SMART goals for the improvement actions:
  • Specific: be as concrete as possible
  • Measurable: ensure the actions are measurable
  • Appealing / ambitious
  • Result-oriented
  • Time-bound: set a deadline
  1. Ensure that patients, caregivers and management receive information about the results and next steps.

  2. Make sure that the topic of patient/client participation is placed on the agenda and remains on the agenda.

  3. Make sure a Plan–Do–Check–Act cycle or other method is in place to promote cyclical and gradual improvement.

  4. Gathering data at repeated intervals provides a reliable picture and insight into changes.

Support in following up on participation initiatives

TPSC software solutions support the use of patient/client participation. By using a variety of tools, patients and clients can easily provide feedback on the care provided, so that it can be discussed in the workplace. Weaknesses within existing processes are highlighted, analysed and optimised.

Digital improvement tracking system

Good follow-up is the key to success. Improve 2.0 supports the improvement process with a result-oriented approach. The solution provides structure and transparency to the many improvement actions the organisation compiles with the various (patient participation) initiatives. The PDCA-cycle is secured. Improvement actions are prioritised, responsibilities are assigned and lead times are monitored.

In addition, care institutions can easily communicate with patients and clients about the improvement measures achieved.

E-book Patient participation

Do you want to know more about patient participation and the tools you can use? Download the e-book 'How do you turn regular care into excellent care?'. Learn from practical examples how you can use patient participation to improve the quality and safety of healthcare:

E-book Patient participation

Wendy Rientjes, 2018 

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