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Health care quality from the patients’ perspective: a comparative study between an old and a new, high-tech hospital

Authors Grøndahl VA, Kirchhoff JW, Andersen KL, Sørby LA, Andreassen HM, Skaug EA, Roos AK, Tvete LS, Helgesen AK

Received 21 June 2018

Accepted for publication 23 August 2018

Published 18 October 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 591—600


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Vigdis Abrahamsen Grøndahl,1 Jörg W Kirchhoff,1 Kirsti Lauvli Andersen,1 Lise Aagaard Sørby,2 Hilde Marie Andreassen,1 Eli-Anne Skaug,1 Anne Karine Roos,2 Liv Solveig Tvete,1 Ann Karin Helgesen1

1Faculty of Health and Welfare, Østfold University College, Halden, Norway; 2Østfold Hospital Trust, Grålum, Norway

Purpose: Previous studies show that the hospital environment and the behavior of health care personnel may predict patients’ perceptions of care quality. The aim of the study was to explore changes in perceived care quality from the patients’ perspective (QPP) when hospital services are relocated from an old to a new high-tech hospital and to describe what is important for patients in the high-tech hospital.
Patients and methods: A comparative cross-sectional design was used. The questionnaire QPP, which is based on a theoretical model of the quality of care comprising four quality dimensions, was used. Data were collected in 2015 (old hospital) and 2016 (new hospital), with 253 and 324 respondents, respectively, by consecutive sampling. Comparative statistics was used to test differences between patients’ care quality perceptions (perceived reality [PR] and subjective importance [SI]) (P≤0.05).
Results: The patients rated PR of all four quality dimensions (the care organization’s physical-technical conditions and sociocultural approach and the caregivers’ medical-technical competence and identity-oriented approach) higher in the new hospital. However, only the two quality dimensions concerning the care organization were rated significantly more highly. On an item level, five of the 27 items scored significantly higher on patients’ SI than on patients’ PR of the care in the new hospital, indicating a quality deficiency from the patients’ perspective. This comprised receiving effective pain relief, receiving examination and treatment within an acceptable waiting time, receiving useful information on self-care, receiving useful information on which doctors were responsible for their medical care, and having a comfortable bed.
Conclusion: The increase in care QPP was associated with improved environmental conditions, and no significant improvement in care quality was associated with the health care personnel. The results indicate that being in a high-tech environment does not improve patients’ perceptions of care quality provided by health care personnel. The results gave valuable information for quality improvement in clinical practice, based on the patients’ perspective.
Keywords: high-tech hospital, patients’ subjective importance, patients’ perceived reality, quality of care, QPP questionnaire

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