PATIENTS will soon be able to provide more feedback on the care they receive in public hospitals, as part of the government’s drive to improve the quality of health services.
Health Minister Tony Ryall says a new national patient survey will be rolled out to all New Zealand public hospitals from mid next year and the results will be published regularly.
“Patient feedback is a vital indicator of how well health services are working for patients and their families,” says Mr Ryall.
“The new national patient survey will provide invaluable information for district health boards (DHBs) about what they are doing well and what areas they could improve.
“It will be the first time this information has been collected and measured in the same way across the whole country. The results will be publicly reported – we have found this to be one of the most effective ways to lift the quality of care in our public hospitals,” says Mr Ryall.
Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew says other countries, including Britain, have introduced patient experience surveys and we are modelling our survey questions on international best practice.
“The survey will look at four key areas – communication, partnership, coordination and physical and emotional needs. There will be up to five questions for each area which patients will answer using a 10-point scale,” says Mrs Goodhew.
“The survey is still being developed by the Health Quality & Safety Commission and the Ministry of Health. In the coming months consultation with health professionals will take place and a couple of DHBs will pilot the survey before the national roll out.
“This initiative continues the Government’s track record of improving the transparency of the public health services. It builds on our Open for better care campaign which challenges health professionals to be open to acknowledging mistakes and learning from them,” says Mrs Goodhew.