How patients' experiences help institutions to improve care in oncological pathway
To improve services, institutions need to listen the patients voice. The patient experience through the health care pathway can help institutions to point out the problems and to learn to design the organization putting the patient at the center of the service. Methods. Focus groups were performed on a group of patients affected by colon rectum neoplasia who had an operation during June-September 2003 in the hospitals located in three geographical districts. It was performed a focus group per district in the period between June and July 2004. Results. Overall patient were interviewed in district A, B and C, respectively. District C included a Universtiy Hospital and a Community Hospital. We choose the focus group technics because of the peculiarity of the studied disease. By a crossed reading of patients' experience we obtained two type of informations: how CORD is working (CORD is the structure which has the role of coordination of oncological pathway, according to the regional guidelines) and which are the strength ness and the weakness of the services delivered by each healthcare unit participating at the study. The patient experience in benchmarking through out different institutions, has been useful for managers to start an internal process of reviewing critical points regarding above all humanization and care coordination along the heath care pathway. Particularly interesting is the case of the University Hospital of Pisa, where the patients indications allowed the institution to reengineering the process, to improve services and empower the communication skills of the physicians and nurses involved in the clinical pathway . Conclusions. Patient point of view in oncological care was an easy tool for improving the health care pathway. It gives to health managers a simple method that allows the organization to evaluate services through the patients eyes .
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