Patient involvement and service innovation in healthcare

Abstract: This thesis adds to a stream of research suggesting that healthcare can be more patient centered and efficient by redefining the role of the patient from a passive receiver to a more active and collaborative participant. This may relate to healthcare provision (Anderson and Funnell, 2005; Berry and Bendapudi, 2007; Bitner and Brown, 2008; McColl-Kennedy et al., 2012; Nordgren, 2008) and innovation (Bate and Robert, 2006; Groene et al., 2009; Longtin et al., 2010). Through research initiative containing four healthcare units and 68 patients, the present thesis combines healthcare research (e.g., Anderson and Funnell, 2005; Nelson et al., 2002) with service research (e.g., Grönroos, 2006; Vargo and Lusch, 2008, 2004) to explore three aspects of patient involvement and service innovation.Firstly, the concept of patient involvement itself is investigated through an extensive literature review of empirical research on patient involvement. A model describing the antecedents, forms and consequences of patient involvement is proposed. What value is, and how patients can co-create value is discussed from the perspectives of healthcare research and service management thought.Secondly, the thesis proposes a diary-based methodology for involving patients in service innovation. My colleagues and I developed the methodology in collaboration with the participating care providers and applied it in practice. We used the experiences we gained from the project and the contributions from the patients to examine the opportunities for user involvement in service innovation. The participants contributed with ideas and insights stemming from their experiences in their contact with healthcare and other resources. We suggest the following three ways of learning from the collected data: As ideas for improvements; through summary reports to illustrate other quantitative data; and as narratives to promote change.Thirdly, the thesis explores patients’ motivations to participate in service innovation, a hitherto unexplored field. Through an analysis of patients’ contributions and interviews with participants we found that there are a number of factors that motivate patients to participate and that participation is perceived as a social- and meaningladen event. Patients derive psychological well-being and support from participation, but disease was sometimes a barrier to participation. This thesis elaborates on how the most motivated users can be involved in service innovation, applying thinking from the lead-user methodology to a healthcare setting.Overall, the thesis explores patient involvement from new perspectives and, by doing so, adds to our collective efforts to improve healthcare.