The study aim was to identify key strategies to improve organisational systems and care experiences, to confront the challenges of achieving effective patient feedback throughout a large healthcare organisation. A mixed methods exploratory approach was used. Purposive and snowball sampling, semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, and document analysis of existing feedback processes was utilised. The setting was a large metropolitan Local Health District in Sydney, Australia. Data was examined using thematic and content analysis. Participants identified no single feedback process was able to adequately gather all feedback necessary to reflect the patient experience. Patient feedback processes that are most useful: are in alignment with patient centred care principles; and, promote the return of information in a timely manner. Two types of patient feedback and their value was identified: proposals for resources; and, suggestions for improvements in processes. The optimal approach to gathering patient feedback requires: a combination of approaches; questioning about patient centred domains; and structured/unstructured and open/closed formats. Guidance and coordination from a central unit is imperative if improvement is to be integrated and effective across a large organisation. The study reveals that the key to achieving an effective patient feedback system is to utilise a multifaceted approach. A combination of approaches provides a comprehensive, adaptive strategy to address patient experience, satisfaction and outcomes. This approach, implemented throughout the organisation, enables relevant and actionable patient feedback to be gathered and implemented in a timely manner.
patient feedback, patient centred care, patient experience, patient satisfaction, patient engagement, qualitative methods, healthcare, health management