Policy & Measurement

The use of patient experience data for quality improvement in hospitals: A scoping review

In this paper we identified what was reported in the literature on qualitative and quantitative approaches used to capture and improve patient experiences in a hospital setting. For inclusion, articles were required to describe an embedded strategy for capturing patient experiences that was used to inform quality improvement in a hospital setting. Articles also had to be published in English between January 2004 and December 2020. Six databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Health and Psychosocial Instruments and Cochrane Library) and grey literature (relevant hospital and government websites) were searched. All articles were screened by two reviewers and any disagreements were resolved through consensus. Data were extracted from the included articles using a study-specific form in Microsoft Excel and synthesized using descriptive qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thirty articles were included in this scoping review. Patient experience data were captured through a variety of methods including surveys, focus groups, patient complaints and informal feedback, with the majority using formal, paper-based surveys. A wide range of quality improvement initiatives were implemented as a result of hospitals’ patient experience data, but there was limited contextual information regarding the hospital settings and population characteristics. Initiatives implemented by a dedicated and multidisciplinary quality improvement team (nurses, administrators, physicians, etc.) generally demonstrated positive outcomes. We conclude that more work is needed to better understand how best to capture and use patient experience data for quality improvement, the contexts in which initiatives are successful and how to integrate patients and families in the ongoing implementation and evaluation processes.