What Do Patients Like And Not Like About Their Hospital Experiences? A Thematic Analysis Of Patient Responses To Clinical Audit
(2013) What Do Patients Like And Not Like About Their Hospital Experiences? A Thematic Analysis Of Patient Responses To Clinical Audit, no. 89.
Abstract Aim: The aim of this research was to explore what elective total joint replacement patients like and dislike about their hospital experiences. This was achieved through a thematic analysis of patient responses from previously collected clinical audit data. By developing insight into the patient experience this research contributes to our understanding of what constitutes patient satisfaction. Methods: The research was conducted using pragmatic qualitative methodology to conduct a thematic analysis of patient responses to clinical audit questionnaires (n=216). Methods of familiarization and immersion lead to the identification of codes until saturation was achieved. Threads within each code could then be identified and the codes grouped into themes. This method relies upon the interaction of the researcher with the data to reach an interpretation and so generate findings. The data was interpreted through the lens of Symbolic Interactionism. Results: The codes of communication, waiting, being moved around, nurses and surgeons were explored. Patients were satisfied when they felt well informed and consulted about their care. They were unsatisfied when they were made to wait without explanation, boarded on different wards without consultation and when they felt invisible to the healthcare staff caring for them. Discussion: Patient responses suggest that the interaction between healthcare professional and patient is of great importance. The approach of Symbolic Interactionism allows interpretation of the factors influencing patient satisfaction with their hospital experience. While some of these factors may be influenced by health boards and healthcare staff others are deeply embedded in the structural inequalities that exist in our society. Conclusion: This research supports the findings of contemporary research into patient satisfaction: the hospital experience is as important to patients as their functional outcome or surgical expertise. The interactions between patient and healthcare professional can be usefully understood through the perspective of Symbolic Interactionism. Further rigorous qualitative research into the patient experience could add to the understanding of what constitutes patient satisfaction.