Background Hospices are increasingly expected to collect data from service users in order to demonstrate the quality of the care provided. However, there can be challenges in gathering feedback from patients who may be too ill or fatigued to complete lengthy surveys. Additionally, by the time paper-based surveys are processed, important issues and concerns may have been missed. Many hospitals are now using portable electronic devices to obtain patients’ views, but this approach is seldom used in hospices.
Aim To use a short electronic survey to gather feedback from hospice in-patients and day patients.
Method Patients use a tablet computer to rate statements about their care using a standard scale. The statements are based on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence quality standards for end of life care. Patients complete the survey either by themselves or with assistance, simply touching the screen to indicate their responses. A free text box allows patients to make comments. Results are transmitted wirelessly to a relevant staff member within two minutes of the survey being completed.
Results Between January 2015 and April 2016, 200 in-patients and 46 day patients completed a survey. The results show a generally high level of satisfaction with care. The real-time nature of the feedback allows us to act quickly on any issues – for example, comparing the time and date of any negative feedback about nurse response times with the actual call times and staffing levels for that day. Results are used to inform future planning and contribute to staff training. Patients find the survey easy and quick to complete.
Interpretation and conclusions We continue to gather data using the survey on an ongoing basis. It enables us to continually monitor patient satisfaction, covering a large percentage of our in-patients and day patients, and address problems swiftly.
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