Patients' experiences in Australian hospitals: a rapid review of evidence

Reema Harrison, Merrilyn M. Walton, Elizabeth Manias

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Patients are uniquely positioned to provide insightful comments about their care. Currently, a lack of comparable patient experience data prevents the emergence of a detailed picture of patients’ experiences in Australian hospitals. This review addresses this gap by identifying factors reported in primary research as
relating to positive and negative experiences of patients in Australian hospitals.

We conducted a synthesis of evidence from qualitative studies of patients’ reported experiences in hospital and day procedure centres. A range of text words, synonyms and subject headings were developed and used to undertake a systematic search of seven electronic databases dating from January 1995 to July 2015 and the grey literature. Two reviewers independently screened the titles, abstracts or executive summaries and applied the inclusion criteria. Data were synthesised in a meta-narrative.

Thirty-nine publications were included; 33 articles from database searches and six from the grey literature. Quality improvement researchers produced the dominant narrative and there was a strong nursing perspective. Seven themes emerged: ‘The care environment’, ‘Reciprocal communication and information
sharing’, ‘Correct treatment and physical outcomes’, ‘Emotional support’, ‘Comfort, pain and clinical care’, ‘Interpersonal skills and professionalism’, and ‘Discharge planning and process’.

Tangible opportunities to enhance the patient experience are apparent. Small changes to the way that the health system operates, is resourced, and the way that health professionals engage with patients could substantially improve care. Examples include inviting patients and carers to contribute to decision making
and discussions about treatment options and care preferences.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSax Institute
Commissioning bodyAust Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC)
Number of pages49
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the publisher 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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