Client experience with courtesy and respect

How clients rated if professional home care services staff treated them with courtesy and respect. (see data dictionary)

What do you think?

  • Why does the respectful and courteous treatment of a client matter?
  • How might this information be used to inform Continuing Care Health Service Standards 1.0 Standardized Assessment, 9.0 Staff Training, and/or related sub-standards?
  • Are there differences between zones? Between mainly rural and urban zones? What factors could account for these differences?

Whether you’re a client, family member, provider, or health system administrator, thinking about why these differences might exist can start or inform conversations and lead to solutions for improved quality of healthcare.

Understanding “experience with courtesy and respect”

In a survey conducted from October 2018 to March 2019, the HQCA asked clients receiving home care:

In the last year, professional home care staff treated me with courtesy and respect….

Clients could choose “Yes / Partly / No”

Courtesy and respect is demonstrated when staff act thoughtfully and show they sincerely understand and value a client’s unique feelings, wishes, rights, or abilities.

From the HQCA survey results, how clients felt they were treated by home care staff and the interpersonal relationships they have with staff is one of the strongest drivers of overall client experience. For example, overall client experience of care and services is likely better if they feel they are treated with respect.

Considerations when viewing the results:

This data reflects the experiences of seniors aged 65+ receiving long term supportive and maintenance care and are among the largest groups of home care clients.

There are a number of factors providers and leaders can consider to better understand and improve client experiences with courtesy and respect. Some questions they could ask before taking action include:

  • What does courtesy and respect mean to a home care client? What does care that is delivered with courtesy and respect look and feel like to a client? What aspects of courteous and respectful home care are most important to clients?
  • What role does courtesy and respect play in delivering quality, person-centred, and safe care?
  • Given care is delivered in a client’s home, if a client does not feel they are being treated with courtesy and respect, how might this impact how safe or comfortable a client feels about receiving care from that provider?
  • Cultural or socioeconomic (typically considers the education, income, and employment status of an individual) differences can sometimes influence expectations about and experiences with courtesy and respect. How could competency be strengthened within home care to help staff better support clients with a variety of backgrounds and experiences?

For information about the HQCA’s Alberta Seniors Home Care Client Survey, please visit the HQCA website.

The Health Quality Council of Alberta uses the Alberta Quality Matrix for Health as a way of organizing information and thinking around the complexity of the healthcare system. This measure can be used as input to assess home care’s performance in these dimensions of quality:
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Dimensions of Quality

  • Acceptability 
  • Accessibility 
  • Appropriateness 
  • Effectiveness 
  • Efficiency 
  • Safety