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The National Patient Experience Survey in Ireland: developing a national survey instrument

Authors: Rachel Flynn , Tracy O’Carroll, Tessy Huss, June Boulger, Jude Cogrove, Donnacha O’Ceallaigh, Tina Boland

Abstract There has been rapid expansion in the use of the term “patient experience” in healthcare. International evidence suggests that learning from the experience of patients is the best way to improve health outcomes and the quality of care, resulting in a move towards benchmarking quality of care as experienced by patients themselves. A holistic, standardised way of capturing patients’ views is through a national patient experience survey.In Ireland, a partnership programme has been formed between the Health Information and Quality Authority, the Health Service Executive and the Department of Health, working closely with patient representatives, to develop and implement a patient experience survey across public acute healthcare services. The partnership acknowledges that Ireland needs to engage directly with patients to better understand the care they receive. This is the first time such a national survey is being implemented.We describe a multi-stage, mixed-method survey development process for the National Patient Experience Survey (NPE Survey) in Ireland. This combined an international review, patient and data user focus groups, a Delphi study, consultation with Picker Institute Europe1 and cognitive interviews. The final instrument constitutes a robust questionnaire appropriate for the Irish healthcare context.The questionnaire will be administered during one month in mid-2017 to persons aged 18 and over who spent one or more nights in any of Ireland’s 41 acute hospitals. It is estimated that 27,000 people will be sampled. Based on experiences of other countries, we estimate that 40% or more of those sampled will take part. Reports on the NPE Survey will be published at the end of 2017.References:1. Picker Institute Europe designed and delivered the first national NHS Patient Experience Survey in England, co-ordinated the largest workforce survey in Europe and their research has formed the basis of several patient-centred care policies in the US, UK and Australia (Picker Institute Europe, 2016).


patient experience, national survey, survey instrument, quality improvement

How to Cite:

Flynn R, O’Carroll T, Huss T, Boulger J, Cogrove J, O’Ceallaigh D, et al.. The National Patient Experience Survey in Ireland: developing a national survey instrument. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2017;17(5):A436.

DOI: on 17th October 2017