Key points

  • It is not possible to suggest that a certain approach or a particular tool is most effective for measuring people’s experience.
  • However, the evidence suggests 10 things to consider when measuring changes in patient and carer experience over time.

1. Consider how patient experience is being defined to inform exactly what needs to be measured.

2. Think about why patient experience is being measured and how the information will be used.

3. Assess whether it would be useful to combine approaches so that both qualitative and more quantitative material is collected.

4. Consider whether to ask everyone using the services or only a sample to provide feedback.

5. Think about whether the best time to collect feedback is immediately after using the services, when experiences are fresh in people’s minds.

6. Allocate enough time at the outset to plan and test measurement methods, particularly if these will be used for many years to monitor change over time.

7. Think about how the end result needs to be presented for various audiences as this may shape how data are collected. Potential outputs include statistical averages, in-depth quotes or graphs.

8. Make sure that there is appropriate infrastructure at an organisational level to analyse and use patient experience information.

9. Make sure that patients, carers, managers and health professionals are all comfortable with why feedback is being collected and how it will be used. Staff need to be on board as well as patients.

10. Ensure that patient experience measures are seen as one component of a broader framework of measurement and that all of the approaches work well together, without excessive burden for either staff or patients.

How has the experience of patients and carers been measured in healthcare? What are the pros and cons of different approaches for measuring improvement over time?

This evidence scan provides an accessible overview of the range of methods that have been used to measure patient experience, in order to help practitioners, planners and researchers consider the best approaches for their own local improvement initiatives. However, the focus is on compiling broad themes from the literature, not providing summaries of individual studies or tools.

    You might also like...

    Newsletter feature

    Five key insights on COVID-19 and adult social care

    Here we highlight five key insights from two new briefings on COVID-19 and social care.

    Briefing

    Adult social care and COVID-19: Assessing the impact on social care users and staff in England so far

    Our analysis on the scale of the impact of COVID-19 on social care in England during the first phase...

    Blog

    Digital and data-driven innovation: supporting it to thrive

    Arne Wolters explores how digital and data-driven innovation can be used in ways that maximise the...

    Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

    Get social

    Don't miss our #THFinequalities webinar tomorrow at 12.30, where we explore the pandemic’s implications for health… https://t.co/Vq7p0d3q7T

    Follow us on Twitter
    Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

    Work with us

    We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

    View current vacancies
    Artboard 101 copy 2

    The Q community

    Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

    Find out more