Chief complaints and feedback from clinic satisfaction tool: Thematic analysis of a new outpatient communication tool.
OBJECTIVES: Up to half of all patients leave their outpatient clinic visit with an uncommunicated need. We designed the clinic satisfaction tool (CST) as a low-cost, highly utilised assessment of the spine clinic experience that improved communication in our multidisciplinary spine practice. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively analyse chief complaints and feedback from the CSTs to determine how spine clinic patients used the form, identify the most prevalent concerns and mark areas for improvement. METHODS: Institutional retrospective review of CSTs. Chief complaints and feedback were inductively coded to create a framework for patient complaints. RESULTS: 832 patients presented to clinic, and 100 sets of chief complaints coded before reaching thematic saturation. Patients used the chief complaint section of CST to canvas four themes: symptoms, questions about their disease, management and treatment. Twenty-nine patients left mostly positive feedback but also wrote additional concerns about care. CONCLUSION: Spine patients have a predictable pattern of chief complaints and with the CST were able to have all these complaints addressed. The CST efficiently collects practice-specific chief complaints that can be used to guide physician behaviour and design educational clinical tools that are useful for patients.
Zakare-Fagbamila, RT; Seyferth, E; Cheng, TZ; Clement, M; Stroup, B; Gottfried, ON
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