Involving patients in quality improvements – a case study
Journal article, 2019

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to illuminate strengths and limitations in quality improvement work, when involving patients. Design/methodology/approach: The experience-based co-design (EBCD) method was used when improving care for patients undergoing otosclerosis surgery. Individual interviews and focus groups were interpreted using qualitative content analysis. Findings: Strengths mentioned by patients were that their participation made a difference. The first steps were found effective in giving an in-depth view of patients’ experiences and the staff got an increased understanding about specific patient needs. However, weaknesses were found in the latter phases, those of improving and follow-up, health care staff had difficulties to keep their focus on patients’ experiences and invite patients to be involved. Patients’ participation decreased, and there was a lack of tools to support the process. Research limitations/implications: The content in this paper is mainly based on one case. However, the findings are in congruence with earlier research and add further knowledge to the research area. Practical implications: The findings can be used in healthcare when involving patients in improvement work. Originality/value: There is no earlier study which involves patients with otosclerosis when using EBCD. Furthermore, this paper illuminates that there is a need to increase collaboration with patients. The latter phases often seem to be handled by health care professionals without involving patients; this paper suggest a development using dedicated quality tools.

Patient involvement


Quality improvement

Improvement work

Health care

Experience-based co-design


Åsa Robinson

Capio Lundby Sjukhus

Caterina Finizia

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Susanne Gustavsson

Quality Sciences

Skaraborg Hospital

TQM Journal

1754-2731 (ISSN)

Vol. 32 2 348-361

Subject Categories

Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy

Medical Ethics




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