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2012 Conference Presentation

Care integrationTechnology United States

6 September 2012

Innovation in knowledge translation: How smart, touch screen, technologies are changing patient satisfaction/experience surveys to make them directly accessible to people with varying cognitive, communication and language

David M O'Hara, School of Health Sciences and Practice, New York Medical College, New York, United States


Long term care policies in various countries are seeking a better integration of long term care and primary health care. At the same time there is concern that policies and practices actually lead to better outcomes driven by patient involvement in decision-making and their self-reports on their experience of care. This is an opportunity that lends itself to the development of new patient experience survey methods using the new smart, touch screen, technologies.

This presentation will illustrate some of the possibilities of accessible and easy-to-use direct response surveys for obtaining information on the patient’s experience of care as well as the care process itself. It will also highlight the importance of “designing in” to any patient assessment tools features that promote participation by the patient in all decisions about their care using the interRAI suite of assessment applications to illustrate how this can be done. Currently in the U.S. there is little integration of long term care and health care, particularly for people with disabilities. For long term care options for people with learning disabilities, paper and pencil surveys have been developed for providing state by state comparative data on the satisfaction with the choices and quality of services received by end users. In general, however, the responses are all given by proxies. The new smart, touch screen technologies provide new tools for data gathering that make the surveys directly accessible to people with a range of literacy and communication abilities.

In the U.S., the same is true for the range of surveys developed by the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research designed to capture the patient’s experience of their health care. Examples will be presented of using the same smart technology to obtain direct reports from people with learning disabilities on their experience of care designed to create a sense of having a medical home. This new patient survey technology has the potential to also create new pathways for patient care, particularly for people with multiple chronic health conditions. There is no question that existing patient experience surveys may need to be modified for use on smart, touch screen technologies and by groups with differing literacy and communication abilities. This will be illustrated through suggested modifications to the interRAI suite of health care and long term care assessment tools to make them directly accessible to people with learning disabilities where obtaining patient input on choice and quality of services received is the goal.

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