Introduction/Background Given the increasing complexity and the volume standards which have become standard practise, patients are more frequently treated in cancer networks in which different hospitals collaborate intensively. However instruments available for quality assurance are validated for individual hospitals. In the gynaecological cancer network established in our Regional Cancer Network (RO West which consists of 7 hospitals in the Leiden-The Hague area in the Netherlands) we aim to establish network wide quality assurance and consequently adopt well known instruments for usage in networks. In this abstract we report on network wide ‘mirror conversations’ in order to include the patient perspective in our quality assurance.
Methodology In a ‘mirror conversation’ a group of patients who underwent the same treatment is interviewed in order to ‘mirror’ their experience with healthcare workers. The conversation is led by independent interviewers, the healthcare workers are listening and not allowed to intervene. A mirror conversation was organised to get informed about experiences of patients which underwent cytoreductive surgery combined with HIPEC following neo-adjuvant chemotherapy for high stage ovarian cancer. Chemotherapy is administered in all 7 hospitals but patients are referred for HIPEC to 1 of the hospitals.
Results Patients from all 7 hospitals attended the mirror conversation led by 2 experienced interviewers. 45 health care workers (of 68 invited) attended. All patients were able to share their experience and points for improvement. Some were individual (e.g. miscommunication), others were shared (e.g. the value of case-managers) and some surprising to the medical team (e.g. preference for less visits combined on one day). Both patients and healthcare workers considered the conversation effective and valuable.
Conclusion Mirror conversations are considered valuable by both patients and health care workers, allow to include the patient perspective in quality assurance in cancer networks and result in valuable issues for improvement.
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