Survivor focus groups: a quality assurance technique
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The use of a total quality management frame work by the palliative care team (PCT) at the Chedoke-McMaster hospitals has led to a standardized method of obtaining feedback from some of the hospitals' customers. Every three months, a focus group is convened of randomly chosen significant others who were most involved in a nonprofessional caregiving role for the deceased patients. The participants are invited to discuss their perceptions of the quality of care provided by the PCT and how it could be improved. This paper describes the procedures used and feedback received in the first year of this audit procedure. The lessons learned during implementation of this audit procedure and how this feedback has affected the PCT's functioning are discussed. This process can provide information for continuous improvement of the care provided by the PCT.
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