Focus Groups

I have now completed focus groups with two hospitals, one mission and one Government.  I don’t feel that I’m learning nearly as much at the hospitals as I’m learning from the key informant interviews in terms of actual content.  People are talking, and we’re getting some good examples of the benefits and types of issues they are facing, but I wouldn’t say that the information is new to me.  I think the real value in the focus groups is the general sense of buy-in and enthusiasm (or lack thereof) that we are getting from the hospital staff.  Overall, though, I’ve been very impressed with how knowledgeable the hospital staff is about accreditation.

Despite the fact that arrangements had been made in advance for my first focus group, the group didn’t actually get put together until we arrived at the hospital (after more than six years working in Lesotho, I still don’t know how I was surprised at this).  But we were pleasantly surprised when we got such a diverse group with representatives from maternity, inpatient and outpatient nursing, lab, pharmacy, radiology, and administration.  That was what we asked for, but it turns out that we may have had too much diversity in the group.  There was some decent interactive discussion in talking about accreditation more generally, but the standards are so department-specific that the discussion was much more a turn-taking one than the interactive one I had hoped for.  But in both groups so far, we had at least a brief time where I would describe the group as lively and engaged.  Overall, not too shabby.  I may have already met the point of saturation (no new info), but I’ve got the last two focus groups tomorrow with very different hospitals, so we shall see.

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