Discharged patients give our hospitals a big thumbs-up for meeting their physical and emotional needs while they were inpatients.
The latest Health Quality and Safety Commission national patient experience survey gives Waikato DHB a 9 out of 10 score in that category, up from 8.4 a few months ago.
The patient survey results also show better ratings for Waikato District Health Board (DHB) in some key areas it has targeted for improvement. This includes how well informed patients feel about managing their condition and their medication after they are discharged from hospital. The number of patients who ticked the “yes completely” box for that question improved from 39 to 53 per cent for condition and from 55 to 64 percent for medication. Waikato DHB is determined to raise this even further in future surveys through its discharge planning project.
Overall, patients rated their experience in Waikato DHB hospitals as 8.3 out of 10 for communication, 8.6 for partnership (involvement of themselves and family in decisions about care), 8.3 for coordination, and 9 out of 10 on physical and emotional needs.
The national equivalent for all district health boards was 8.3 for communication, 8.5 for partnership, 8.4 for coordination, and 8.6 for meeting physical and emotional needs.
The quarterly survey is offered to over 6000 randomly selected people who were inpatients in New Zealand public hospitals between 3 and 16 November and are now discharged.
The national results were released today by the Health Quality and Safety Commission (HQSC). Richard Hamblin, the commission’s director of health quality evaluation, says the national response rate for the survey has risen from 24 to 27 per cent and is on track for the 40 per cent the commission is seeking.
At Waikato DHB the local response rate more than doubled from 14 to 31 per cent as the DHB experiments with better methods to contact patients.
The DHB’s Quality and Patient Safety assistant group manager Mo Neville says the increased response rate has helped lift the results. “It is a much better sample this time, and we have growing confidence in the figures.”
“We are very grateful to those who do respond,” she says. “Patient feedback is really important because it gives us a clear steer where we can improve. So if someone is asked to participate in the survey, we would love them to do so. We definitely listen to what is said.”
The survey is designed primarily to allow measuring change over time at a local level rather than comparison among district health boards.
However the results show most DHBs as having similar scores in many areas, and Waikato DHB results are generally in line with the national averages.
The HQSC says new national survey of public hospital inpatients is proving its value as a tool for identifying where care improvement is necessary.
‘The implications for not working in partnership, not giving clear, understandable information and not involving patients and family/whanau enough in decisions are well documented,’ says Dr Chris Walsh, director of the HQSC’s Partners in Care consumer engagement programme. ‘DHBs now have an opportunity with this data to explore further these important aspects of patient experience.’ Read the HQSC media release here
The first survey was done in August last year and the results were released in November.
Read more about the results here