Page 48 - Experience Based Co-design - a toolkit for Australia
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Observation and shadowing are very important tools when working with patient and staff experience. In observation events, activities, and interactions are observed with the aim of gaining a direct understanding of the area being explored in its natural context. Shadowing is being beside someone going through the process, giving you the ability to ask them questions as they go along.
It can help you really understand different perspectives and highlights issues that is unlikely to arise through any of the other activities. It is used to identify exactly what happens during a patient visit to a service, including:
Learning about people’s movements through the service Observing behaviours
Helping you see things through the eyes of a patient.
Use this tool during the gathering of experience stage when you want to identify existing experiences and behaviours. It can be helpful to do it before any staff or patient interviews as it may help inform your questions during that stage. It can be used again later to check the impact improvements have had.
The observation process is a three-stage funnel:
o beginning with descriptive observation (broad scope observation to get an
overview of the setting)
o moving to focused observation (attention to a narrower portion of the
activities of most interest)
o selected observation (investigate relations among the elements have
selected as being of greatest interest).
The shadowing process is accompanying a patient on their journey, observing but also taking the opportunity to ask questions as they are accompanied.
       1. Decide on your approach
What are you aiming to learn?
o List your questions.
 Decide on whether you are going to observe or shadow or will you need to do both.
o Pick aspects of the service that are practical to observe
o Choose a time when you are likely to observe the areas of interest
    Adapted with permission from

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