Mystery shoppers – A quality review process in radiology

Pamela Parker1, Simon Freeman2, 1Ultrasound, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, 2Radiology, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

The national Friends and Family Test (FFT), launched in 2013, is an Important feedback tool that supports the fundamental principle that people who use NHS services should have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience. However, the FFT quality assessment tools within radiology often centre around the clinical aspect of the patient pathway rather than evaluating patient experiences of the whole journey from referral to examination.

The use of mystery shoppers in the retail sector is widely embraced to assess quality of the customer experience. The same process can be mirrored within radiology to review the quality of the service provided.

The idea of using mystery shoppers in radiology was first devised by the radiology accreditation team at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth as a means of quality testing the patient pathway.  The process was then introduced within ultrasound of the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. The radiology process from receiving the appointment letter through to being greeted into the examination room by the radiographer or radiologist is reviewed using this process.

This poster presents the results of the patient feedback from both hospital sites. The key learning outcomes generated by the feedback are presented.

The mystery shopper feedback has proven to be a useful quality assessment process in both centres and the authors recommend its widespread use. Top tips and pitfalls to avoid are presented to aid implementation within other imaging departments.

View the Poster here