User Interviews User – Rheumatologic Department St. Olav’s Hospital

In St. Olav’s Hospital, there was an evaluation where we wished to help establish a dialogue between service and service user, in order to improve upon the service. The survey at the rheumatologic department was a pilot project with support from Central Norway Regional Health Authority. Until this point, the User Interviews User-approach had been applied to mental health care and rehabilitation in various municipalities. Central Norway Regional Health Authority now wanted a UIU conducted in the somatic department.
The points of topic were worked out in cooperation with the department, starting with the areas they themselves already recognized to be lacking. The open form of the interviews allowed the participants to name the problems they think of as important in evaluating the service.

The patients at rheumatologic department feel the quality of the service is good, and that it felt safe to be a patient there. A qualified staff with respect and time for each patient was a great factor. The service users also felt they had a huge say in choice of treatment plan.

Below are some suggestions for improvement.

  •      It is important that new patients experience continuity in their meetings with the staff. We suggested the consultations be held by the same doctors each at the start of the treatment. There should be thorough reports and epicrises, so that the patients won´t have to spend so much time re-telling their history of illness with different doctors.
  •     There could be better information between the hospital´s department in cases where the patients have complex issues. An individual plan (IP) may be a good tool to achieve this.
  •     It would be beneficial to establish a service user group on the department.
  •     Norsk Revmatikerforbund is working to educate patients on their rights. One should consider establishing a patient-school where peers are utilized. In the “new St. Olav”, the patients have shorter stays and less contact with each other than previously. Education in patient rights should take place at an early stage of the treatment.

Heidi Westerlund
Margareth Berg Vårvik
Dagfinn Bjørgen

Report in Norwegian:
Bruker Spør Bruker-evaluering – Revmatologisk avdeling St. Olavs Hospital (2011)