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By Tricia Strusowski, MS, RN
Seeking a great way to enhance your navigation program and best understand the specific needs of your patients and families? Consider conducting a patient and family focus group. I have always gotten the best feedback and ideas for our navigation program from hosting a patient and family focus group. And I now incorporate focus groups sessions into many of my cancer program site visits. It is easy, fun, and the rewards are tremendous. The patients and families are so appreciative that their input is sought after and valued.
What is a Patient and Family Focus Group?
Focus groups are a form of qualitative research, discussions with your patients and families to learn about their healthcare wants, needs, and perceptions. All great patient experience outcomes begin with listening to the voices of the patients and their families, relying on their perceptions of healthcare to identify priorities and enhance performance improvement initiatives that can yield amazing results.
Some Sample Guidelines for Facilitating a Patient and Family Focus Group
The following guidelines will help foster a robust, information-rich discussion:
Introduction and Ground Rules for the Focus Group
Here are tips for getting the conversation started:
Next, review the ground rules with your focus group members. Explain that the facilitator/moderator’s role will be to guide the discussion:
Some Possible Questions for your Focus Group(s)
Once your focus group is complete, consider keeping the momentum going by creating a Patient Caregiver Advisory Committee. Learn more in this recent Oncology Issues article that explores how improving patient engagement can help to improve your cancer program.
Guest blogger ACCC member Tricia Strusowski, MS, RN, is a consultant with Oncology Solutions, LLC.