Background Feedback and audit are ways of reflecting upon professional practice (Ivers et al, 2012). Opportunities for feedback have been cited as one of the mechanisms which ambulance staff develop their decision-making skills and reflect on their practice (Ivers et al, 2014).
Methods A digital patient outcome feedback intervention (POFI) was designed and tested. POFI reported patient outcomes, clinical investigations and treatment after conveyance to hospital. A data sharing agreement between one hospital and ambulance service was secured. Ambulance staff were surveyed and interviewed regarding its desirability, impact and usability. Descriptive and thematic data analysis was performed.
Results Respondents were enthusiastic about feedback, reflected in a good response rate to the first survey (N=186). This was not matched by high POFI usage or the second survey (N=28). This may be because it is not yet easily accessible or well known. Respondents indicated feedback is likely to improve decision-making confidence, enhance self-efficacy and patient safety. They felt it would contribute to learning through self-reflection, enhancing knowledge and skills and thus continue professional development. Feedback provides an opportunity to clear up mysteries and support wellbeing.
Conclusions Feedback is desirable, but requires a commitment by ambulance services and hospital sites to share data and then feedback system with staff. There are pockets of interest, nationally, in giving feedback to ambulance staff. This project is the only one known, using a digital mechanism. Other projects give personalised feedback through ‘post-boxes’ or other written requests. Further study could be carried out in collaboration with these similar projects. It is important to work out the best mechanism of sharing data, to suit information governance requirements, whilst also contributing to ambulance confidence, learning and wellbeing.
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