OBJECTIVE: To develop and validate a mechanism for patients to provide feedback on safety experiences following a care transfer between organisations.
DESIGN: Qualitative study using participatory methods (codesign workshops) and cognitive interviews. Workshop data were analysed concurrently with participants, and cognitive interviews were thematically analysed using a deductive approach based on the developed feedback mechanism.
PARTICIPANTS: Expert patients (n=5) and healthcare professionals (n=11) were recruited purposively to develop the feedback mechanism in 2 workshops. Workshop 1 explored principles underpinning safety feedback mechanisms, and workshop 2 included the practical development of the feedback mechanism. Final design and content of the feedback mechanism (a safety survey) were verified by workshop participants, and cognitive interviews (n=28) were conducted with patients.
RESULTS: Workshop participants identified that safety feedback mechanisms should be patient-centred, short and concise with clear signposting on how to complete, with an option to be anonymous and balanced between positive (safe) and negative (unsafe) experiences. The agreed feedback mechanism consisted of a survey split across 3 stages of the care transfer: departure, journey and arrival. Care across organisational boundaries was recognised as being complex, with healthcare professionals acknowledging the difficulty implementing changes that impact other organisations. Cognitive interview participants agreed the content of the survey was relevant but identified barriers to completion relating to the survey formatting and understanding of a care transfer.
CONCLUSIONS: Participatory, codesign principles helped overcome differences in understandings of safety in the complex setting of care transfers when developing a safety survey. Practical barriers to the survey's usability and acceptability to patients were identified, resulting in a modified survey design. Further research is required to determine the usability and acceptability of the survey to patients and healthcare professionals, as well as identifying how governance structures should accommodate patient feedback when relating to multiple health or social care providers.