Consumer insights, especially during a hospital stay, proved invaluable to service providers. This discovery was detailed in Contemporary Nurse, a professional journal, in Issue 49, 2014. The healthcare research method utilized was an in-depth interview conducted with “a patient, his wife, and seven healthcare providers–2 doctors, 4 nurses and one patient care orderly.” This study aimed to quantify how “patient-centered” this hospital had been during one particular consumer’s “patient experience,”. The study was undertaken because “research comparing healthcare recipient and provider perceptions regarding the same episode of care is lacking.”

Invaluable Healthcare Consumer Insights

In endeavoring to discover “what mattered” to the patient and family member, and to find out how “aware” the healthcare providers had been of these preferences, study facilitators used “semi-structured interviews.” In other words, a part of the interview consisted of pre-composed and open-ended questions, and another part consisted of allowing, and encouraging, the patient and family to “expound uninterrupted” regarding the in-hospital experience.

Initially, researchers asked patient and family–and all providers–for their individual definitions of the term “hospital experience.” All the while, researchers took detailed notes. Then, they took the phrases offered by patients/family members and “coded and grouped (them) into categories, and then (into) salient themes.” Next, providers’ descriptive phrases were analyzed and compared with “the previously identified themes.”

The results were instructional to the doctors, nurses and orderlies, who limited their definitions of “patient experience” to the in-hospital stay itself. The care recipients (including family) attached “pre and post-hospital admission” to their expanded definitions. This prompted consumer expectations to be more detailed.

Study data clearly showed the following three “themes” mattered most to the care recipient: “medication management, physical comfort, and emotional security.” This suggested the patient and family required continual reassurance from providers regarding the accuracy of diagnosis and treatment, and honesty tempered with ongoing support regarding the patient’s opportunity for recovery.

Awareness of the hospitalization (and pre/post hospitalization) aspects which meant the most to the patient/family “differed between the providers”–which did not make for an optimal “patient experience.”

Contact New Perspective for healthcare marketing research and follow-up research that will provide you with detailed preferences for those consumers whom you most wish to target. Offering thorough and actionable “consumer insights” through focus groups, qualitative and quantitative research is our specialty.