Positive patient experience is associated with less healthcare utilization, better treatment adherence, increased likelihood of returning to the same hospital, and fewer complaints. However, hospitals have been able to collect few insights into the experiences of pediatric patients due to age limitations. As an exception to that reality, adolescents (aged 12–20 years) are able to share their experiences and recommend improvements, yet little is known about their hospital experiences with traumatic injuries. We examined the patient experience of adolescents with traumatic injuries and collected their recommendations for improving care.
We conducted 28 semistructured interviews with English-speaking adolescents hospitalized at two trauma Level 1 hospitals (pediatric and adult) for physical injuries from July 2018 to June 2021. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using modified thematic analysis.
The patients expressed three basic desires: (1) autonomy and active involvement in their care, (2) human connections with their clinicians, and (3) minimal discomfort. Study participants provided actionable recommendations for improving the patient experience for adolescents with traumatic injuries.
Hospital administrators and clinicians can improve the patient experience for adolescents in their care by sharing information, expectations, and goals with them. Hospital administrators can also empower the clinical staff to connect with adolescents with traumatic injuries on a personal level.