BACKGROUND: To optimize home care, it is essential to determine how care recipients experience quality of care. Traditionally, quality of care is measured with normative quality indicators such as safety, efficiency, or prevalence rates such as falls. The growing interest for qualitative patient-reported experience measures in home care requires insight into the needs of care receivers, providers, and organizations as key-stakeholders. Each stakeholder has their own needs that are important to communicate and use to conduct thorough comparisons before implementing new experience measures. This study aims to understand the needs of clients, formal/informal caregivers, and managers/policy officers in measuring client's experienced quality of care in home care.
METHODS: Four focus group interviews and 25 semi-structured interviews with key-stakeholders were conducted and analyzed by means of content analysis. The value-proposition canvas was used as a thematic framework to explore the purpose of experience quality of care measures and related pains and gains.
RESULTS: There were two main purposes for measuring experienced quality of care: first improving the primary care process of individual clients and second for learning and improving in home care team. Using experienced quality of care measures for external accountability and transparency on an organizational or national level were considered less relevant. Among others, participants described not having time and no clear procedure for conducting an evaluation as a pain of the current methods used to evaluate perceived quality of home care. As gains they put forward the ability to informally evaluate experiences during care delivery and to openly discuss complaints with a familiar caregiver.
CONCLUSIONS: This study advocates that home care organizations should be aware of the goal of quality of care measures. They should consider selecting experienced quality of care measures mainly for improving primary care processes of individual clients. The results also underline the relevance of adopting next to quantitative evaluations, more narrative evaluation methods which support communicating openly on care experiences, leading to concrete point-of-improvement. The findings of this study can serve as a guide for both the development or selection of adequate methods, from the perspectives of key-stakeholders, in assessing experienced quality in home care.