Bridging the Cultural Gap
Subashnie Devkaran, PhD, FACHE and Patrick O’Farrell, PhD
Quality and Patient Safety Institute
Patient experience is acknowledged, together with clinical effectiveness and patient safety, as one of the three pillars of quality in healthcare. Furthermore, patient evaluations of care have been linked to certain healthcare related behaviors such as filing malpractice suits. compliance with medical regimes and adherence to follow-up appointments. Surveys conducted internationally demonstrate wide variations in patients’ experience of care according to patient characteristics. No studies have addressed patient experience in the UAE and only a few have been published on patient satisfaction. Additionally, assessment tools for measuring patient experience have not been developed until now in this region. Therefore, the primary objective of this study is to identify the most important predictors of patient experience at the individual patient and hospital level in the UAE. The study is a prospective cross-sectional analysis of patient experience conducted in the private 150-bed, multispecialty, acute-care hospital in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The annual inpatient census is approximately 15,000. The hospital treats approximately half a million ambulatory care patients per year. Healthcare services are provided to all patient age groups, nationalities and payment types. The survey tool was then piloted and tested for reliability and validity. Based on the pilot study and analysis of the results, the researcher assessed the survey instrument as meeting the study objectives and as having acceptable validity and reliability. With the objective to identify the full range of issues that were important to patients, the survey comprised of 60 questions covering the entire journey of care from admission to discharge. In order to minimize bias, no clinical limitations were applied to patient selection.