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Patient experience data as enacted: Sociomaterial perspectives and 'singular-multiples' in health care quality improvement research

Donetto, Sara, Desai, Amit, Zoccatelli, Giulia, Allen, Davina ORCID:, Brearley, Sally, Rafferty, Anne Marie and Robert, Glenn 2021. Patient experience data as enacted: Sociomaterial perspectives and 'singular-multiples' in health care quality improvement research. Sociology of Health & Illness 43 (4) , pp. 1032-1050. 10.1111/1467-9566.13276

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Over the last three decades, sociomaterial approaches to the study of health care practices have made an important contribution to the sociology of health care. Significant attention has been paid to the role of technology and artefacts in health care and the operation of actor-networks but less space has been given to questions of ontological multiplicity in health care practices. In this paper, we draw upon our study of patient experience data in five acute hospitals in England to illustrate how treating patient experience data as ‘singular-multiples’ can enable useful insights into patient experience data work in health care organisations. Our data was generated during 12 months of fieldwork at five participating hospitals and included organisational documents, field notes, informal and formal interviews with frontline and managerial staff and patient representatives at the study sites. We use the examples of the Friends and Family Test (FFT) and the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey (NCPES) in England to consider the multiple nature of data as it is enacted in practice and the work data does when coordinated as an entity in the singular. We argue that, and discuss how, the sociomaterial insights we discuss here are relevant to health care quality and improvement research and practice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0141-9889
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 May 2021
Date of Acceptance: 12 March 2021
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 02:56

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