Maintaining high standards of hospice care by measuring patient satisfaction
A pilot study led by Dr Kate Henriksen at the Marie Curie Hospice, Edinburgh found that patients welcome the opportunity to complete a questionnaire to provide feedback about their doctors.
Patient Satisfaction Questionnaires (PSQs) are used to evaluate how patients feel about their doctor’s communication and interpersonal skills, with a view to informing the professional development of medical staff. 26 patients and one relative completed the questionnaire at the hospice. They found it clear and easy to fill out. Indeed many patients welcomed the opportunity to be involved and to make a difference, and found the process of giving feedback empowering.
This was the first study to look at administering the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire within a hospice inpatient setting; it is more commonly used in the outpatient clinic environment.
The General Medical Council propose that all doctors with patient contact should be expected to complete a PSQ at least once every five years as a learning and development tool. The findings of this study are therefore very timely and particularly pertinent to specialities where it may not be possible to recruit large numbers of patients from outpatient settings.
Good communication is clearly also at the heart of palliative care practice and soliciting patient feedback is essential in maintaining high standards of care.
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