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Giving Patients a Say for Directions of Acute Care

Our major international study. Listening to what is important for you when you are in hospital.

The results were published in the journal BMC Health Services Research.

Listening to What Matters to You

One of the priorities for improving the quality of care is to make care more patient centered. Current acute medical practice focuses  strongly on the medical diagnosis and treatment of the medical condition. Much of the conversations in these settings are about the patients and not actually with them. This medical focus often does not take into account the patient’s needs, values and preferences. It also provides little opportunity for patients and their loved ones to actively participate in designing a treatment plan with outcomes that are most relevant for them. A doctor’s focus is for example often on ‘treating the infection’, while the patient might be more concerned about ‘will I be able to be back at work next week?  Focusing more on what actually matters to patients may lead to better outcomes and patient satisfaction because it goes beyond the ‘sick role’ of the patient and contributes to patient involvement.

The study

The GPS@Acute study was conducted in hospitals in seven countries (The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Switzerland, Singapore and Hong Kong) involving over 1800 patients. The study took place during a 50-hours study period; data were simultaneously collected in all participating hospitals. We wanted to hear from patients what is important for them at this particular moment of their patient journey.

Acute medical patients were visited at the unit of admission (Acute Medical Unit or other clinical department) by a member of the treating team or the local research department to inform about the study and request consent. After the patient provided permission for participation, a small number of questions was asked. A researcher appointed by the principle investigator of the site administered the questionnaire to the patient and directly entered the patients’ answers into the database.

Here is a link to a short video that outlines the interview and the process of completing the database for each recruited patient during our flashmob.

The results of the study have been published in the journal BMC Health Services Research.