Poster Presentations

P-17: Is smartphone application-based patient feedback a good idea? “It depends.”

Ng, Denise*, MSc candidate; Wallace, James PhD; McMurray, Josephine, PhD; and Morita, Plinio, PhD

University of Waterloo

Objective: The aim of this study is to understand the types of barriers, specifically perceived risk, to smartphone-based patient experience feedback (SmartSurveys). Smartphones stand to transform the manner healthcare services gather patient experience information from patients. However, there is still limited guidance on the context and circumstances which are appropriate for patients to use their smartphones to share service experience feedback. 

Methods: Participants were asked to envision the use of MetricWire's mobile application to collect patient experience data. In-depth semi-structured interviews guided with questionnaires were conducted with smartphone owners (n=24) in order to capture their experiences, perceptions and attitudes using SmartSurveys. Individuals were also segmented based on their technical knowledge and motivation to protect their privacy. With consent, interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and subsequently analyzed using QSR International's NVivo 11. 

Results: Interviews and questionnaires revealed that there were few concerns regarding risks or usability of SmartSurveys application. However, three major themes regarding privacy emerged from the interviews. These themes include: recipients of information, certainty in information disclosure, and possible loss of information agency. 

Conclusion: The use and adoption of SmartSurveys is highly contextual and nuanced depending on the relationship between patients and their service provider. Participants stressed the need to disclose the purpose of data collection as well as how information is managed and by who. Health care providers and mHealth application developers should endeavour to inform end-users of the manner data is handled through their mobile application. Furthermore, providing the rationale for patient experience feedback will help patients comprehend how their opinions drive changes in service quality.