Research Update: Week 2

Before I came into Oxford, I had imagined that the bulk of my research will be around finding the faults of the NHS and commenting on them in relation to the faults we have in the Affordable Care Act. But after interviewing Dr. Cheruvu, a bariatric surgeon in Staffordshire, I understood that the purpose of my project is not to take a stance for or against the policies of the NHS but rather paint a holistic image of what the system is, particularly how it address quality of care among patients of different economic backgrounds.

Now I was questioning how do I figure out what metrics would be useful to evaluate “quality of care?” After going through many relevant online articles and books I found at both the Bodleian and Radcliffe Science Library, I found that the most popular metric to use is patient-centered self reports. This can be in the form of interviews, testimonials and anonymous quotes.

Here is a sample of the online articles I had found through the SOLO system in the Bodleian:

Hip Surgery Economic: http://jpubhealth.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/1/115
Equitable Cardio Treatment: http://circoutcomes.ahajournals.org/content/6/2/208
Physician Staffing: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3764146
Distance Travelled: http://hsr.sagepub.com/content/12/3/153.full.pdf+html
Improving NHS: http://www.content.healthaffairs.org/content/19/3/102

In addition, some other useful metrics I found include comparing patient wait times and ratio of public and private NHS clinics in different economic areas of Oxford. The next step is to create a release form that volunteers would sign prior to giving their comments on the system for our project. In this process, we have to bear in mind that patient information and hospital information/records are strictly confidential. Subsequently, I have created the release form that we give to patients. For the creation of this form, I used templates that were from the University of Washington human services department. These templates were good examples of how to not include personal information but still have consent. Now that the form has been created, Aurnee and I will commence interviews next week hoping to find a wide array of patient responses to the NHS.

Apart from that, Aurnee has been using a website called Zoopla to find out the average property values of portions of the city and thus create economically diverse sectors of the city. I will then find the clinics (public and private) in these sectors and go to as many of those clinics as I can with Aurnee and conduct the interviews. More to come on the interviews in next week’s blog posting…

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