Purpose – This study aims to explore whether and how patient voices had been taken into account within quality management systems in Hospital A in Britain and Hospital B in Taiwan. Design/methodology/approach – The two hospitals were purposefully selected and the data were collected over six months, via documents, interviews, and a semi‐structured questionnaire. A mixed method strategy within an overall qualitative framework (i.e. managerial‐operational‐technical) was used to make comparisons between them. Findings – A number of strategies were developed by both Hospital A and Hospital B to take patients' voice into account within quality systems. In an attempt to improve quality standards of services, both hospitals used patient satisfaction surveys relating to specific services to understand patients' opinions about care in outpatient services, inpatient services, or emergency services. They also set up patient suggestion boxes and managed complaints data to understand what patients needed and wanted. Originality/value – There is very limited literature related to the comparison of quality systems. In particular, this study explores the mechanisms to take patients' voices into account within quality systems. The most important distinction between the two hospitals is that in Hospital A, complaints are managed by a quality manager, while in Hospital B the Social Work Department (SWD) is responsible for dealing with patient complaints. In practice, it is more effective for quality officers to take care of complaints management than social workers, in terms of using complaints to improve quality.
International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 1, 2009
Keywords: Quality systems; Patients; Hospital management; United Kingdom; Taiwan
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