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The experience of hospitalization in Tuscany analyzed by the Management and Healthcare Laboratory (MeS) of the Sant'Anna School: huge patient participation with more than 1,200 surveys completed in only March

A survey launched in 2018 to give patients a voice and improve service delivery

Publication date: 25.05.2023
Sabina De Rosis
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A large number of patients admitted to the hospital facilities of ASL Toscana nord ovest decided to join the "Patient Reported Experience" (PREM) survey to evaluate the experience of their hospitalization, conducted by the Management and Healthcare Laboratory of the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa. In the month of March (the last analyzed) out of 5,961 discharged from the facilities of the participating hospitals (Massa, Lucca, Castelnuovo Garfagnana, Livorno, Piombino, Cecina, Portoferraio, Pontedera, Versilia), there were 4,916 patients who decided to leave their contact information (more than 80 percent) and 1,296 people decided to answer the questionnaire (more than 26 percent).

The survey started at the end of 2018 in all hospitals with computerized medical records and allows ongoing monitoring of the experience and satisfaction of inpatient service users in Tuscany. Designed to give patients a voice, the survey is a valuable indicator to monitor their opinion of hospitalization and allow a timely analysis that identifies strengths and weaknesses of healthcare facilities. The analysis is not an end in itself, as it is the starting point for valuing professionals and using criticism to field improvement actions.

From a technical point of view, patients who decide to join the survey receive a message on their contacts from Regione Toscana with an invitation to fill out the questionnaire. Within the online questionnaire are closed-ended questions regarding, among other things: the reception in the hospital, the relationship with the staff, and the ward. The patient also has the opportunity to leave his or her comments in some fields that provide for reporting free text. A wealth of data and comments destined to increase and thus provide in almost real time a complex view of the actual judgment of those who use health care facilities.

"Narrative sections", comments Sabina De Rosis, a researcher at the Sant'Anna School, "are the most important innovation that the MeS Laboratory has recently introduced in patient questionnaires. They are the most powerful, natural and human channel to get patients' stories to the Company”.

"I would like to thank all the patients who decided to participate in the survey", comments Maria Letizia Casani, general manager of ASL Toscana nord ovest, "dedicating their valuable time and showing us trust, in particular, even those who decided to leave their personal comments. The comments are read by managers and management and are a real boon because very often they also report gratitude for the services and health care professionals. Even where we verify criticisms, they are welcome, because for us they are a source of knowledge of situations to verify for possible actions of our own".


On the cover: Sabina De Rosis