A specialist service evaluation: a cross-sectional survey approach
This article presents the findings of a service evaluation of a specialist urogynaecology service and highlights the implications for nursing practice. Aims: To evaluate the overall patient experience and the degree to which individual needs were being met, and make improvements to service delivery. Method: A cross-sectional survey questionnaire was sent to a random sample of women (n=350) who were registered on the electronic patient record system from January to June 2020. Two items on the questionnaire related specifically to communication with patients during the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020. Routine service data were collected and included in descriptive statistical analysis. Qualitative themes were thematically analysed. Results: The response rate was 39% (n=137). More than 90% of respondents felt listened to during consultations with nursing and medical personnel, and had trust and confidence in their clinical expertise, felt involved with decisions about care and felt comfortable with intimate examinations. Negative responses related to poor communication with administration and rescheduling appointments. Conclusion: Findings resulted in a departmental review of admin processes, which resulted in improvements to administrative systems, staff training, communication and information giving, and directly benefited patients.
Service evaluations (SEs) adopt rigorous, scientific methods to collect data about the effectiveness of services in a systematic way (Bowling, 2014a). They seek to understand the value and worth of a service, and the extent to which it is meeting its aims. The findings of these evaluations generate evidence to improve quality of care delivery and inform local decision making (National Research Ethics Service, 2014). As a SE does not involve randomisation or a change in routine care or treatment ethical approval is not required (Health Research Authority, 2022). At the heart of SEs is patient engagement, a key component to improving healthcare services and appraising quality (Bombard et al, 2018). Nurses can consider SEs as a useful tool in their practice. Evidence generated facilitates quality improvement initiatives and directly impacts patient care.
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