A Virginia Mason study aimed at better understanding what patients mean when they describe their health care experience has identified 35 positive, negative and neutral emotion words that have clear, consistent meanings for patients, families and health care professionals.
This word set is now the foundation of the experience-based design (EBD) questionnaire at Virginia Mason and could serve as a model for hospitals and health systems across the nation.
The study, titled "Experienced-based Design for Integrating the Patient Care Experience into Healthcare Improvement: Identifying a Set of Reliable Emotion Words," is published in the December edition of Health Care: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation.EBD is a method for accelerating the redesign of health care delivery and making it more patient-centered by incorporating patient and caregiver experience and emotion. For example, EBD identifies emotional touch points during the care journey and assesses the emotional content of each one. Virginia Mason researchers determined the EBD questionnaire should contain words with clear, consistent meanings for it to be most effective.
In the Virginia Mason study, 407 patients, family members, nurses and other health care professionals were given 67 expressions and directed to sort them into positive, negative and neutral categories. The final list of positive and negative words selected for the EBD questionnaire at Virginia Mason contains only expressions that received at least 80 percent agreement about their perceived meanings.