• Study
  • Published March 2019

The association between complications, incidents, and patient experience: retrospective linkage of routine patient experience surveys and safety data.

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Little is known whether the relationship between safety data and patient experience data can inform opportunities for improving care. In this retrospective study, researchers used data on complications and safety incidents as well as patient-reported events and experiences for 4236 hospitalized surgical patients at a single academic medical center to understand the relationships between these sources of information. They found that patient-reported issues were associated with the presence of complications or safety events among patients with nonpositive (neutral or negative) experiences, but not among those with positive experiences. Patients who experienced complications or safety events but did not identify problems with their care demonstrated a decreased risk of a nonpositive experience compared with patients who experienced no complications or safety events and did not report issues. The authors conclude that using data in this manner can help inform opportunities for improving care and that health care professionals can optimize the patient experience even when complications and safety events happen. A past PSNet perspective highlighted the experience of a health care professional as a patient.

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