Dossier n. 215/2011 [Abstract] “Trust your patients” Perceived quality in Mental health and in Drug addiction centers


In 2007 within the project “Regional laboratory for listening and involvement of citizens, community and professionals”, a multidisciplinary work group was created; coordinated by the Regional Agency for Health and Healthcare, it is composed of professionals from the Departments for mental health and drug addiction (DSM-DP) and of quality coordinators of some regional Local Health Trusts. The aim was to explore the peculiarities of DSM-DP services, to see if customers’ satisfaction for the received care can be quantified, to develop shared methods and common tools to measure perceived quality by patients and their families. It should be remembered that in the last years the DSM-DP organization has significantly changed and it now represents a complex and very articulated reality.

The volume presents the analysis on perceived quality developed at local and regional level till 2007, and the activities of identifying and experimenting survey methods and tools shared at regional level. These methods and tools can be used to analyse how citizens accessing DSM-DP services and professionals working there perceive care paths and relationships among the different social actors. In such a way it is possible to understand the organization and its quality.

Some fundamental theoretical assumptions were considered: perceived quality is not simply satisfaction for a specific experience; it should be studied within the wider context of quality evaluation in a system of different listening strategies.

In this perspective, the Dossier illustrates the elaboration path of two regional questionnaires to evaluate customer satisfaction in Mental health and in Drug addiction centers, to reinforce the importance of surveys to improve organization conditions.

In the first chapter the context elements are described where listening of citizens was developed: mental health policies, organization of DSM-DP services, customer typologies, previous experiences of customer listening.

The second chapter presents the path to elaborate, validate and test the survey tools for perceived quality in two DSM-DP services, that are shared by all regional Local Health Trusts. A data elaboration plan is also proposed, to valorise the strategic use of information to improve quality.

Chapter 3 describes the outcomes of elaborations performed on the regional database, thus allowing a comparison of data collected with shared tools.

In the fourth chapter customers themselves talk about the different phases of the methodological path of perceived quality surveys: start, questionnaire distribution, data elaboration and use, outcomes diffusion, organizational strengths and weaknesses, utilization of similar tools developed in similar contexts.

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