Western NSW Local Health District (LHD) has introduced a new and innovative way to allow patients to provide feedback about the health services they receive.
The Health District has recently signed off on a contract with CFS Australia that has seen the delivery of 50 Patient Experience Trackers (PETs) for the next two years which will allow real time feedback on clinical services gauging patient satisfaction.
Chief Executive Mr Scott McLachlan says that this is an exciting new way for the Health District to measure how patients rate hospital services.
“The PET machines are small hand-held computers with a series of simple questions that allow patients to confidentially provide immediate feedback on how they feel about the care they are receiving,” he said.
“The data is then downloaded to CFS Australia who provide detailed reports which allow us to target areas by facility where we may need to make improvements”.
Formerly the Health District needed to rely on state administered patient surveys where there were sometimes delays in receiving feedback about care.
“This new system is fantastic. We get detailed feedback reports at the end of each month for each facility and immediately can target areas for immediate improvement as well as acknowledging sites that are doing great work,” Mr McLachlan said.
The introduction of the PET devices comes closely on the back of the Health District introduction of a Patient Pledge document late last year which is a formal commitment to the minimum standards of care that people can expect when they present for inpatient care at one of the District’s hospitals.
“We are very much focused on patient outcomes and hearing from those in our care about what we need to do give them the most positive experience possible.
“The key questions we are asking will ensure that we have regular data around our delivery of care against this patient pledge as well as other regular information about how engaged and satisfied our patients feel,” Mr McLachlan said.
The PET devices were distributed and trialled extensively late last year and the Health District has already received some substantial information about patient experience across its large range of community, district and base hospital services.
“The initial results that we are seeing are very pleasing and show an absolute commitment to the delivery of high standards of care from our staff. We are now focusing on patient experiences in our emergency departments and residential aged care services over the next few months,” Mr McLachlan said.
The Health District encourages patients to look out for the PET devices across the District’s hospitals and take the time to provide open feedback on how services can be enhanced.