Tuesday 26 September 2017

From toilets to trolleys - patients to be asked rate their hospital experience

The survey starts on May 1 and all adult patients who are discharged from a public acute hospital during this month will be invited to participate (stock photo)
The survey starts on May 1 and all adult patients who are discharged from a public acute hospital during this month will be invited to participate (stock photo)
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Nearly 30,000 patients are to be surveyed on their hospital experience for the first time – with questions ranging from the cleanliness of the toilets to the length of time they were waiting on a trolley.

The survey starts on May 1 and all adult patients who are discharged from a public acute hospital during this month will be invited to participate.

Patients will be asked 61 questions on topics such as confidence and trust in hospital staff, hospital food, care and treatment, and whether their medications and possible side-effects were explained before discharge from hospital.

A joint initiative by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health, the National Patient Experience Survey Programme will use data collected from the survey to shape future healthcare policy and improve outcomes for patients. It will be a key building block in the creation of a strong patient safety culture in our health service.

The survey was launched today by Health Minister Simon Harris and HSE chief Tony O’Brien.

The minister said: "Capturing these important messages is vital for patients, hospital managers and not least for the staff providing the care in our hospitals.

"My Department is fully committed to patient safety and to this end I launched a new National Patient Safety Office last year which has already commenced a programme of patient safety policy and legislation."

Tony O’Brien added: "The survey is part of a grass-roots, led approach to quality improvement. We want to drive quality across the system by listening to the experiences of patients, finding out what is working and what needs to be improved upon.

"The findings of the survey will be used to identify areas of priority and programmes for improvement. Acute hospital services will be working in partnership with patients to identify solutions for the issues identified in the survey, the HSE will publish the agreed Quality Improvement plans in response to the findings, to demonstrate how we are listening and responding to patient feedback."

Rachel Flynn, HIQA’s Director of Health Information and Standards and Programme Director for the National Patient Experience Survey added:"Patient experience surveys help to identify not only areas for improvement, but also examples of best practice. By listening to the experience and feedback of patients who complete this survey, we can enhance the quality and safety of care provided to patients in Ireland.”

Further information about the survey can be found here

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