BACKGROUND: Current consensus recognizes the benefits of early intervention in palliative care consultation teams (PCCTs). As consultants, we should now attempt to improve the quality of our teams by utilizing a method mainly used in the business field . We aimed to investigate the effects of iterative evaluation of customer satisfaction surveys, filled by physicians and ward nurses in this study, for quality improvement of PCCTs .
METHODS: In October 2019, the participants filled the first questionnaire survey about palliative care and PCCTs at a 678-bed hospital, and improvement areas were uncovered . Refinements were planned and implemented, and then reevaluated using the second questionnaire survey in March 2020 .
RESULTS: In addition to the characteristics of our clients evaluated from approximately 500 valid responses, the first survey showed that the response rate of the questionnaire, knowledge of palliative care and PCCTs, and publicity of the PCCT were recognized as issues needing attention . We planned to contrive ways to collect questionnaires, hold monthly workshops for palliative care, launch newsletters of palliative care, and go on client rounds . The second survey revealed improvements in the physicians' response rate (p = 0.02), the accuracy rate of application of PCCTs in Japan (p <0.01), and ward nurses' confidence in opioid use (p = 0.04) and tendency toward easier accessibility to the PCCT (p = 0.07).
CONCLUSION: Continual quality improvements through iterative, customer satisfaction survey-driven evaluation are a widely established practice in the business field . By using this appropriately, we could enable PCCTs to improve their quality.
Index: Customer satisfaction, Palliative care consultation team, Periodic evaluation, Quality improvement