Implementing a digital patient feedback system: an analysis using normalisation process theory

Ong, Bie Nio, Hodgson, Damian, Small, Nicola, Nahar, Papreen and Sanders, Caroline (2020) Implementing a digital patient feedback system: an analysis using normalisation process theory. BMC Health Services Research, 20. a387 1-16. ISSN 1472-6963

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Background: Patient feedback in the English NHS is now widespread and digital methods are increasingly used. Adoption of digital methods depends on socio-technical and contextual factors, alongside human agency and lived experience. Moreover, the introduction of these methods may be perceived as disruptive of organisational and clinical routines. The focus of this paper is on the implementation of a particular digital feedback intervention that was co-designed with health professionals and patients (the DEPEND study).

Methods: The digital feedback intervention was conceptualised as a complex intervention and thus the study focused on the contexts within which it operated, and how the different participants made sense of the intervention and engaged with it (or not). Four health care sites were studied: An acute setting, a mental health setting, and two general practices. Qualitative data was collected through interviews and focus groups with professionals, patients and carers. In total 51 staff, 24 patients and 8 carers were included. Forty-two observations of the use of the digital feedback system were carried out in the four settings. Data analysis was based on modified grounded theory and Normalisation Process Theory (NPT) formed the conceptual framework.

Results: Digital feedback made sense to health care staff as it was seen as attractive, fast to complete and easier to analyse. Patients had a range of views depending on their familiarity with the digital world. Patients mentioned barriers such as kiosk not being visible, privacy, lack of digital know-how, technical hitches with the touchscreen. Collective action in maintaining participation again differed between sites because of workload pressure, perceptions of roles and responsibilities; and in the mental health site major organisational change was taking place. For mental health service users, their relationship with staff and their own health status determined their digital use.

Conclusion: The potential of digital feedback was recognised but implementation should take local contexts, different patient groups and organisational leadership into account. Patient involvement in change and adaptation of the intervention was important in enhancing the embedding of digital methods in routine feedback. NPT allowed for a in-depth understanding of actions and interactions of both staff and patients.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Acute care, Digital methods, Mental health, Normalisation process theory, Patient feedback, Primary care
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Global Health and Infection
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2020 06:43
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2020 07:00

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