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Waikato results show where DHB doing well and can improve

Feedback from Waikato District Health Board’s adult inpatients was very useful, says Mo Neville, the assistant group manager Quality and Patient Safety.

“All feedback is useful – it shows us where we are doing well, as well as areas we can improve,” she said.

The Health Quality & Safety Commission yesterday released results from the first national survey of hospital inpatients.

A sample of hospital inpatients from all over the country were asked to rate their experience in the four key areas of: communication, involvement in their care, coordination of their care, and having their physical and emotional needs met during their last stay in hospital.

The Waikato response rate for this quarter’s survey was not high. Out of the 400 people who received it, 54 completed it.

The survey method agreed by the Ministry of Health wishes to target as many people as possible by email – Waikato DHB has not routinely collected email addresses from patients.

“We are working hard to improve the response rate by raising awareness of the survey locally, and making sure we contact people via the most appropriate medium.

“We urge people who receive the survey to complete it. We really want to hear patients’ experiences, and we want to use this feedback to improve what we do. There is always room for improvement,” said Ms Neville.

Though the results are limited by low response rate, they do provide some useful data.

Scores for each theme are reported below: Scores are out of 10 on a scale of very poor (0) to very good (10), with the score based on the average score provided by patients who completed the survey.

Communication

How you were communicated with? – Waikato DHB score    8.3

Partnership

The way staff involved you in decisions about your care – Waikato DHB score            7.9

Coordination

How your care was co-ordinated within the hospital? – Waikato DHB score            8.1

Meeting physical and emotional needs

How well were your physical and emotional needs met? – Waikato DHB score            8.4

Pleasing Results

High levels of trust in their doctors and nurses – 95% of respondents expressed trust in their doctors and 92 % in their nurses some of the time or always –  the vast majority of patients always trusting these professionals.

Patients treated with kindness and understanding – 94% of patients thought they were always or sometimes treated with kindness and understanding (82% reported they always were treated like this).

Cleanliness of hospital room or ward  – 95% of patients rated the room or ward as either very clean (82%) or fairly clean.

Explanation of risks and benefits prior to operation – 97% of patients reported that these were explained completely or to some extent in a way they could understand.

Getting answers to important questions form doctors – 94% of patients reported that they always or sometimes got answers to important questions, when they needed them, from doctors. (62% always, 32% sometimes)

Need for ongoing improvement

Results from the survey highlighted areas for improvement. In particular, information and communication following an operation, and information given on discharge from hospital.

Did staff tell you how the operation went in a way you could understand? – 18% of respondents answered “no”.

Did a member of staff tell you about medication side effects to watch for when you got home? – 29% of respondents answered “no”.

Did you feel you received enough information from the hospital on how to manage your condition after discharge? – 15% of respondents answered “no”.

“Waikato DHB is currently undertaking a significant piece of work to improve discharge co-ordination. We hope this work will see an improved discharge experience for all patients, and that this will be evidenced by improvement in these results in the future,” said Ms Neville.

Future surveys

The next survey will take run from the end of November into early December, and every quarter moving forward.

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