EPF surveys Patients on their Perception on Quality in Healthcare
EPF developed a membership study in 2015 on “Patients’ Perceptions of Quality in Healthcare”. The survey aims to explore the key dimensions of quality identified in literature from a patient perspective, with the aim of developing policy recommendations on quality of care.
The involvement of patients in evaluating and co-designing healthcare services can ensure that the latter work better for all users. As stated in the European Union Third Health Programme “Healthcare practices should be informed by feedback from, and communication with, patients.” (Regulation (EU) No 282/2014, recital 12)
EPF believes that the patient experience should be adopted as a key evaluation tool in assessing the quality of healthcare and health systems’ performance. Key indicators for assessing healthcare quality should be defined by patients themselves, and not by what providers assume is important for patients. Patients’ feedback, our feedback, should be encouraged, listened to, and acted upon.
Meaningful patient involvement as defined by EPF is based on the premise that patients have a specific expertise and knowledge derived from lived experience. Only the patient sees the “whole journey.” We can identify gaps in services, but also superfluous or unsolicited services, helping make healthcare both more effective and more efficient.
The European Commission’s second implementation report on patient safety (2014) recognises that the experiential knowledge of patients and families is a valuable resource for health professionals and that it should be gathered as an element of quality improvement systems. Our involvement is also vital for instilling a patient safety culture in the healthcare system.
The outcomes of the EPF survey on Quality in Healthcare will be summarised in a report at the end of 2016. With this work EPF aims to contribute to the European debates around quality, including a common definition of quality of care, and prepare the ground for discussions on appropriate indicators for measuring patient-centredness of healthcare and patient empowerment. The survey is also closely linked to EPF’s activities supporting the implementation of the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive.
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