Improving patient experience in a musculoskeletal physiotherapy service
The aim of this service evaluation was to improve patient experience of physiotherapy in the musculoskeletal outpatient service. The specific objectives were to:
design and evaluate an information leaflet for new patients
evaluate patients' experiences of physiotherapy using a standardised tool
increase adherence to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy's Core Standards.
This was a service evaluation with repeat measures design, comprising 9 stages and including individual feedback for physiotherapists.
The key improvements directly resulting from this service evaluation are:
statistically significant improvements in patients' satisfaction with the service
improved adherence to the CSP's Core Standards
reduced waiting times (reduced by 12 weeks within the first 3 months of the revised systems)
reduced non-attendance of appointments (6% mean decrease in wasted appointments)
improved information sent to patients in advance and displayed in the waiting areas
Individual feedback for clinicians has proved so popular for their personal development, Agenda for Change and professional re-registration, it has been extended to other service evaluations and audits across the service.
It is essential that clinical services are evaluated through the eyes of the service-users. This work has shown that merely raising physiotherapists' awareness of their professional core standards is insufficient; active implementation strategies, requiring changes at system level, are necessary.