Consumers’ perspectives on their involvement in recognizing and responding to patient deterioration—Developing a model for consumer reporting

Lindy King, Guy Peacock, Mikaila Crotty, Robyn Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Adverse events occur in health care. Detection and reporting of deterioration therefore have a critical role to play. Patient and family member (consumer) involvement in patient safety has gained powerful support amongst global policymakers. Few studies, with none taking a rigorous qualitative approach, have drawn upon consumers’ experiences to establish their preferences in consumer reporting of patient deterioration programmes. Objective: To explore consumers’ experiences of previous reporting of patient deterioration; their preferred educational strategies on this role and recommended pathways in a consumer reporting of patient deterioration model. Design, setting and participants: An interpretive, qualitative research design was utilized. Nine focus group interviews were undertaken across Adelaide, capital city of South Australia. Interviews were audio-taped, transcribed and analysed thematically. Twenty-six adults described, then reflected, on previous experiences of reporting patient deterioration. Results: Overarching themes incorporated consumers’ experiences and patient/family education. Three themes emerged in relation to consumers’ experiences: feelings, thoughts and actions. Five themes arose on educating consumers: content, timing, format, information providers and information recipients. The consumers’ deep reflections on their past reporting experiences led to the development of a new model for consumer reporting of patient deterioration. Conclusions: Consumers’ views on ways to improve consumer reporting of patient deterioration processes emerged. These improvements include structured educational programmes for staff advocating open health-care professional/consumer communication, educational materials developed and tested with English-speaking and culturally and linguistically diverse consumers and a model with three consumer reporting pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-395
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • consumer education
  • consumer reporting of patient deterioration
  • family members
  • patient safety consumer escalation of care
  • patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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