The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding of how patients experience their health problems and how they can generate innovative ideas about health care services. The research questions that guide the present study are: how can solicited diaries be used for capturing patient ideas? What type of data is generated from solicited diaries used for generating patient ideas? And what are the potential benefits and shortcomings of using patient diaries in generating ideas for improvement of health care services?
The paper is based on an exploratory case study using patient diaries to solicit ideas about how health care services in Sweden can be improved. From the methodological viewpoint, the diaries are used as a tool for patient co‐creation of health care services.
When analyzing dairies written by patients four different types of diaries emerged from the study: brief, reporting, descriptive and reflective diaries. Furthermore, 102 ideas for improvements within nine areas were identified from the contents of dairies.
Adopting patients' diaries as a way to activate and promote co‐creation of values is at an embryo stage, and hence more research is needed.
One of the strengths of the paper includes its potential for practical implications, either clinical or methodological, by using patients' dairies. It focuses both on the content generated from the diaries for improving health services, as well as the use of the diaries for practicing the idea of patients as co‐creators in health care service.
Elg, M., Witell, L., Poksinska, B., Engström, J., Mi Dahlgaard‐Park, S. and Kammerlind, P. (2011), "Solicited diaries as a means of involving patients in development of healthcare services", International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 128-145. https://doi.org/10.1108/17566691111146050
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