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Patient Experience of Care Survey

IHS has developed a patient experience care survey and an easy-to-use electronic tablets as a standardized way to collect feedback from patients to improve quality of care.

Background:  The mission of the Indian Health Service is to raise the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level. Quality of care is an agency priority, and IHS is committed to continuing our efforts to assure a high-performing health care delivery system for American Indian and Alaska Native people.

The IHS is standardizing a patient experience survey for uniform use and administration across all IHS ambulatory primary care sites including hospital outpatient departments.  IHS sought expert input from the SouthCentral Foundation in Alaska, a tribally operated health system, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality during the development of the survey. 

IHS is focusing its initial efforts on a locally actionable, standardized patient experience survey built upon the Improving Patient Care (IPC) survey, as well as methods to simplify data collection and analysis while ensuring consistency of administration across all IHS facilities. 

Survey Questions:  The new patient experience survey asks patients to rate their experience and comment on these topics:

  • An appointment was available when I needed it
  • When I arrived for my visit, I did not have to wait too long to be seen by my provider
  • The clinic staff were courteous
  • I have trust in the clinic staff
  • The clinic was clean
  • The provider listened carefully
  • I received the right amount of attention and time from my provider
  • I was provided with enough information to make decisions
  • I was given the chance to provide input into decisions about my care
  • My culture and traditions were respected
  • I would recommend my provider to family and friends
  • Overall, I am satisfied with my visit

Status: A pilot was conducted at four facilities, representing the diversity of health care settings in IHS, to assess the value of the survey questions, the receptivity of patients to the survey, and administration of the survey using electronic tablet devices.  The average time required for patients to complete the survey was under two minutes.  The use of an electronic format for the survey aided ease of use and provided analysis of the results.

Facilities were able to quickly and easily access survey results and identify priority improvement areas. Patients who participated in the pilot survey rated use of the new survey and electronic devices favorably overall.

Next Steps:   Once the survey is fully implemented across all primary care sites, IHS will consider expanding beyond primary care (e.g., Emergency Department, Inpatient).

October 2017

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