Patient-centred care is becoming more important in healthcare. The success of patient-centred care can be assessed by exploring the patient experience through a patient journey map. As the number of outpatient surgeries is increasing, it is important to reveal the specific characteristics of this type of surgery. The perioperative patient experience is considered very important for outpatient surgery, because all perioperative activities are condensed in one day. To investigate this experience, we performed a case study of hand and wrist surgery. Six teams of two industrial design engineering students interviewed 40 patients in total in two private and two public hospitals in the Netherlands. All teams created a patient journey map, describing the patient experience. These maps were analysed by the authors to identify common themes among the six journeys. Four time-independent themes and four time-dependent themes were identified. Insecurity, reassurance by staff, loneliness, and lack of information were associated with the whole patient experience. Before surgery, lack of control was the most prominent experience. During surgery, acceptance and curiosity were present. After surgery, relief was the dominant experience. No significant differences between the public and private hospitals were discovered. Several suggestions are given on how to facilitate positive experiences and how to resolve negative experiences in outpatient surgery. These include suggestions for hospital policy and design interventions.

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