Thinking about surveys of patients with Loyal

How do we ask people about their experiences of healthcare? That was the theme of a survey studio that I did for Loyal earlier this year.

Loyal is a healthcare business in the USA, and I worked with Amira Pettus and Tyler McLeod to choose topics for the studio that focused on on aspects of surveys that are especially relevant to patients and their experience of healthcare.

Person-led expert review reveals questionnaire issues

We had large and lively group from Loyal at the studio. After a short introduction from me, we collectively had a go at a person-led expert review of some questions from the CHAPS Clinician & Group Visit Survey which asks patients about their experience of a healthcare visit. It is published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, an agency of the USA Department of Health and Human Services. This led on to further discussion of satisfaction and rating scales.

An anti-problem widens up what we ask about

‘Can patients get the appointments they want?’ is a question that hospital administrators, clinicians, and patients are all very interested in, and might therefore be something that we want to ask patients about. Our initial focus for the question was mostly on whether the hospital could provide enough clinicians to create appointment slots.

To get a wider perspective on the question, we tried an  ‘anti-problem’ (Credit to Mark Dalgarno for the ‘anti-problem’; see The Worst PA – Software Acumen). I challenged the Loyal attendees to think of ways to make getting an appointment as hard as possible, which produced some really creative responses.

For example, one answer that I enjoyed a lot was to insist that patients arrive for their appointments by hot air balloon.  This was very useful, provoking us to turn the initial question around and start thinking about the physical challenges of getting to appointments and how those impact on the appointments that patients might want. We shifted from a hospital-only focus to thinking about the patient’s whole experience and whether those appointments were at the right time, the right day, the right place, right length, and so on.

My thanks to Amira Pettus for inviting me to run the session, to Amira and Tyler McLeod for helping me to plan it, and to all the participants who made it such a rich experience.

Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash