Using an adapted approach to the Kano model to identify patient needs
Journal article, 2016
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to study how an account of multiple patient roles when
using the Kano model in healthcare improvements can support identification of a wide range of
Design/methodology/approach – The study presented in this paper was part of a longitudinal
action research study. The empirical material was collected by various methods (interviews, a focus
group, participative observations, and a survey) over a two-month period within the Children’s and
Women’s Healthcare department in a Swedish hospital. The respondents included the management
team, healthcare professionals, patients, and the patients’ partners.
Findings – The study shows that incorporating a view of multiple patient roles into application of the
Kano model, and using input on customer needs obtained from patients, relatives, and healthcare
professionals, helps to identify a wide range of patients’ needs.
Originality/value – The view on patients within healthcare is being transformed from one based on
servility to that of patients as customers. This paper elaborates on a hands-on way of applying the
Kano model based on a view of multiple patient roles as a means to support this new patient view. The
application builds on input from various groups (such as patients and healthcare professionals), and,
by using input from various stakeholders. This approach appears to overcome a gap, identified in
earlier research, of either relying solely on patients, or solely on healthcare professionals, when
identifying patients’ need. Rather input from several groups – patients, relatives, and professionals –
are suggested to be used in combination.