The Engagement Cycle

Stage 5: Working with patients and carers to monitor services

Contracts with providers should have specified:

  • What engagement activities providers should undertake
  • What patient experience data providers should be collecting, how they should be reporting it and how they can take action in response to that data.

These contracting agreements and service level agreements (SLAs) (that specify outcomes and quality) should be followed up by systematic methods to gather and use data, about patient experience and patient-recorded outcome measures (PROMs), in order to monitor and performance manage providers.

They should also make sure that the data collected is fed back and shared, in order to monitor performance.

Outcomes from this stage can also be used at other stages of the engagement cycle – make sure there are systems and processes that can enable this. In particular, data from this stage can also be used to feed into improvement activities (stage two of the Cycle)

Things to think about

Be clear about who needs to do what and when

  • Be clear about roles and responsibilities of commissioners and providers concerning who gathers, reports and uses patient experience data;
  • Find ways to get timely patient experience data to those monitoring contracts;
  • Ensure that patient experience data gathered for monitoring processes is available to others (e.g. those planning needs assessments, priority setting, service redesign, etc).

Involve patients in gathering data

  • Commissioners should consider having patients in the team doing the monitoring, alongside commissioners;
  • Value and use patient-derived data (quantitative and qualitative) as much as routine data about activity;
  • Adopt patient-centred methods for monitoring as well as patient-centred measures (e.g. patient/user focused monitoring; mystery shopping);
  • Work with HealthWatch to ensure that data they have from visits to providers is incorporated into monitoring processes.

Build on what is already known

  • Find ways to empower clinical and non-clinical staff to gather and use data from everyday staff-patient contact;
  • Consider real-time engagement (e.g. via use of hand-held devices) and utilise methods of online dialogue.

Share the learning

  • Complement monitoring activity with regular meetings to share learning (with patients and the public) on quality and outcomes;
  • Consider having patient leaders as part of regular monitoring meetings with providers.

The Engagement Cycle