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The patient experience of peripheral intravenous therapy: development of a patient survey, initial findings, and next steps

28 January 2021
Volume 30 · Issue 2


Peripheral intravenous cannulation (PIVC) is one of the most commonly performed invasive procedures in healthcare and can be a stressful experience for patients. Co-creating a patient journey map of intravenous therapy (IVT) together with patients highlighted the need to better understand patient experiences of IVT and informed the development of a patient-reported experience measure of intravenous therapy (IVT). The British Columbia (BC) Lower Mainland IVT Working Group, the BC Office of Patient-Centred Measurement and the provincial supplier of IVT products, hypothesized patient feedback about their IVT experiences would garner new insights to improve both patient experiences and outcomes related to IVT. Leveraging BC's province-wide, coordinated, scientifically rigorous patient-centred measurement program (BCPCM), a module of eight questions were developed, tested and fielded with the 2018 BC Emergency Department patient survey (n=14 076). Weekly monitoring of patient responses, through the BCPCM's web-based Dynamic Analysis and Reporting Tool (the DART), showed key themes and opportunities for improvement, leading to a test of change that introduced a patient information card (Why do I need an IV, What will happen when I get an IV, Tell a nurse if the following happens). This paper outlines the development of the IVT patient experience survey, and presents initial findings and the next steps to take action on the results. Additional data collection is now underway to solicit patient feedback of IVT across BC in outpatient cancer care and acute care hospital settings.

For 17 years, people who have accessed healthcare services from British Columbia (BC), Canada's publicly funded healthcare system have had a voice in evaluating the quality and safety of their care through a program that invites patients to rate their satisfaction with the care received and to provide feedback about their experiences and outcomes of care.

The British Columbia Patient-Centred Measurement Steering Committee (BCPCMSC) oversees the planning and implementation of a large-scale patient survey program across sectors, including acute inpatient care, emergency department care, cancer care, mental health and substance use care, and long-term residential care. BC's provincially coordinated, scientifically rigorous measurement program is described in a value chain (see Figure 1) that includes survey selection or development, data collection, reporting and action planning. Learnings in BC have shown that only when patient and family feedback collected via surveys, both as quantitative and qualitative data, is analyzed and interpreted does it become information that will be used to guide improvement efforts at macro, meso, and micro levels of our healthcare system.

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