The ISQSH are committed to leading the concept of the voice of the patient in their healthcare. By encouraging and supporting service user involvement to improve the standards and quality of healthcare services. This in turn led to the development a multi-dimensional measurement tool designed to assess patients' perceptions of quality in healthcare. The development of this standardised tool, which can be incorporated into specifically designed surveys across services, enables the effective comparison of quality care within and between services as well as the analysis of trends of satisfaction longitudinally over time.
Within the last decade, the Irish health service has inevitably recognised and acknowledged the value of the concept of patient satisfaction measurement. Throughout this period, policy documents recommended that patients' experiences of healthcare could be improved through the utilisation of patient surveys. However, the lack of a pre-existing survey programme or standardised tool to measure patients experience in Ireland was an obstacle to improvement in this area. The ISQSH established the inpatient survey initiative to investigate and report upon patients' perceptions and experiences of the quality of care and service they received during their hospital stay.
The first Irish national inpatient survey was conducted in 2000, a second in 2002 and a third in 2004. In 2010, the questionnaire was amended to reflect feedback from hospitals that had participated previously, the views of stakeholders, and a further review of the literature. The survey tool was also mapped to the draft national HIQA standards and tests were conducted to determine the validity and reliability of the survey tool. Open-ended questions were included to check the validity of patients' responses to pre-coded questions and to invite more in-depth feedback; thus facilitating qualitative inquiry.
The ISQSH work to:
- develop questionnaires and the accompanying information
- advise on how to conduct surveys
- collect, check and analyse the survey data