Parents improve healthcare for children with diabetes
Conference contribution, 2014
Traditionally, healthcare professionals improve patient processes without participation from patients and their relatives. Sometimes patients get involved by completing a survey, but usually the questions are constructed, analyzed, and improvements prioritized by staff. What would happen if patients / relatives were invited to participate in the improvement process along with staff? Could this contribute to different sustainable improvements in healthcare?
This project was conducted in a hospital with staff and parents to children with diabetes.
The purpose is to study experiences from an improvement project involving parents collaborating with staff.
The research approach was participatory action research. In the improvement project, a model called experience-based co-design EBCD was used. The steps in the EBCD model are:
• Catch the experience from healthcare professionals and relatives (interviews)
• Understand the experience together (focus groups)
• Improve the patient process collaboratively to achieve better experiences (improvement teams)
• Evaluate the improvements in collaboration (group meeting)
Healthcare professionals and parents each had different experiences from the patient process. The parents identified 24 improvement areas and the staff 16. Of these improvement areas, only 6 were common.
In collaboration, they chose to work with seven improvement areas. For example, they worked with a checklist that contains skills required for nurses taking care of children with diabetes in the ward. They also started a local patient association for children with diabetes and their families which empowered them.
Healthcare professionals and patients have different perspectives of the patient process relative to their experiences. Patients and their families have important information that healthcare professionals do not think of. Many of the improvements were of simple nature but still important for the experience of the patient process. There were also complicated problems resolved that had a positive effect on patient safety. Both perspectives from healthcare professionals and relatives are paramount to achieve a holistic view of the patient process.