The experience of patients in an outpatient infusion facility: a qualitative study

Emma Zijlstra*, Mariet Hagedoorn, Stefan C. M. Lechner, Cees P. van der Schans, Mark P. Mobach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose

As hospitals are now being designed with an increasing number of single rooms or cubicles, the individual preference of patients with respect to social contact is of great interest. The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of the experience of patients in an outpatient infusion center.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 29 semi-structured interviews were conducted, transcribed and analyzed by using direct content analysis.

Findings

Findings showed that patients perceived a lack of acoustic privacy and therefore tried to emotionally isolate themselves or withheld information from staff. In addition, patients complained about the sounds of infusion pumps, but they were neutral about the interior features. Patients who preferred non-talking desired enclosed private rooms and perceived negative distraction because of spatial crowding. In contrast, patients who preferred talking, or had no preference, desired shared rooms and perceived positive distraction because of spatial crowding.

Research limitations/implications

In conclusion, results showed a relation between physical aspects (i.e. physical enclosure) and the social environment.

Practical implications

The findings allow facility managers to better understand the patients' experiences in an outpatient infusion facility and to make better-informed decisions. Patients with different preferences desired different physical aspects. Therefore, nursing staff of outpatient infusion centers should assess the preferences of patients. Moreover, architects should integrate different types of treatment places (i.e. enclosed private rooms and shared rooms) in new outpatient infusion centers to fulfill different preferences and patients should have the opportunity to discuss issues in private with nursing staff.

Originality/value

This study emphasizes the importance of a mix of treatment rooms, while new hospital designs mainly include single rooms or cubicles.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalFacilities
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23-Dec-2020

Keywords

  • Physical environment
  • Preference
  • Outpatient infusion facility
  • Patient experience
  • Social environment

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