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First data released measuring consumer engagement by district health boards

Partners in Care
30 June 2021

The first round of data for the new consumer engagement quality and safety marker (QSM) was published today by the Health Quality & Safety Commission (the Commission).

QSMs are used to evaluate the quality and safety of health care in New Zealand to drive improvement.

The goal of the consumer engagement QSM is for district health boards to answer the question, ‘What does successful consumer engagement look like, and (how) does it improve the quality and safety of services?’.

Participating DHBs were asked to bring together a group of clinicians and consumers to give an overall ‘rating’ of consumer engagement, using a specified framework called ‘SURE’, along with evidence to back up the rating.

The SURE framework, which stands for supporting, understanding, responding and evaluating) focuses on four areas:

  • Supporting: What is in place to support consumer engagement?
  • Understanding: How do organisations make sense of what consumers are telling them?
  • Responding: What has been done to respond to what consumers have said?
  • Evaluating: What has been the impact of these interventions?

DHBs focused on aspects such as engagement, responsiveness and experience when coming up with their ratings.

Nineteen of out the 20 DHBs participated in this first QSM data round.

Dr Chris Walsh, director of the Commission’s partners in care consumer engagement programme, says the high participation rate by DHBs is a heartening start for any new measure of quality improvement.

‘The high uptake shows the willingness of DHBs to engage with this important process,’ she says. ‘It also highlights the incredible amount of work that goes into consumer engagement around the country.

‘What will be important now is to build on what has been developed in terms of how services have engaged with consumers and not lose any ground.’

In their data submissions, most DHBs indicated they had the infrastructure in place to support consumer engagement. In the next couple of submission rounds, the Commission will track how this infrastructure is used and look at some of the outcomes arising from DHBs’ consumer engagement activities.

A dashboard displaying the consumer engagement QSM data is available via this link.