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Journal cover: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Online from: 1988

Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare

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Taking patients' voices into account within quality systems: a comparative study

Document Information:
Title:Taking patients' voices into account within quality systems: a comparative study
Author(s):Yahui Sophie Hsieh, (Department of Healthcare Information and Management, Ming-Chuan University, Taoyuan, Taiwan)
Citation:Yahui Sophie Hsieh, (2009) "Taking patients' voices into account within quality systems: a comparative study", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 22 Iss: 3, pp.289 - 299
Keywords:Hospital management, Patients, Quality systems, Taiwan, United Kingdom
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/09526860910953557 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – This study aims to explore whether and how patient voices had been taken into account within quality management systems in Hospital A in Britain and Hospital B in Taiwan.

Design/methodology/approach – The two hospitals were purposefully selected and the data were collected over six months, via documents, interviews, and a semi-structured questionnaire. A mixed method strategy within an overall qualitative framework (i.e. managerial-operational-technical) was used to make comparisons between them.

Findings – A number of strategies were developed by both Hospital A and Hospital B to take patients' voice into account within quality systems. In an attempt to improve quality standards of services, both hospitals used patient satisfaction surveys relating to specific services to understand patients' opinions about care in outpatient services, inpatient services, or emergency services. They also set up patient suggestion boxes and managed complaints data to understand what patients needed and wanted.

Originality/value – There is very limited literature related to the comparison of quality systems. In particular, this study explores the mechanisms to take patients' voices into account within quality systems. The most important distinction between the two hospitals is that in Hospital A, complaints are managed by a quality manager, while in Hospital B the Social Work Department (SWD) is responsible for dealing with patient complaints. In practice, it is more effective for quality officers to take care of complaints management than social workers, in terms of using complaints to improve quality.

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