Patient experience indicators update: 13 December 2013

13 Dec 2013 | Health Quality Intelligence

Good progress is being made on implementing a national approach to collection, measurement and use of in-patient experience information.

Seven district health boards (DHBs) – Northland, Auckland, Counties Manukau, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Canterbury and South Canterbury – are testing the national in-patient experience survey that will be used to achieve this.

DHB chief executives will be updated on progress at their meeting this month and the results of the testing will be presented to DHBs and the National Health IT Board in the New Year, along with the proposed system requirements.

In-patient survey questions

The initial set of 40 questions has been cognitively tested by patients from four DHBs to validate them for New Zealand use, and revised down to 20 questions. The latest version of the survey is available here. This survey has a set of optional questions at the end. These are questions that have tested well with patients but will not be used in the core survey. These questions along with the full Picker Institute 250 question set purchased by the Commission will be available to all DHBs to incorporate in their local surveys.

Cognitive testing

Point Research has begun the online ‘cognitive’ testing of the latest version of the survey with patients notified by participating DHBs. Other DHBs can still join this process – please contact us if you wish to do so. This workstream will be completed by Christmas.

Proof of concept

This workstream has progressed well and quickly with exceptional participation from the testing DHBs. The latest version of the survey is being tested in an end-to-end system. Progress includes:

  • development of a patient data extract file specification that is consistent across all the test DHBs
  • files uploaded through a secure process on a routine basis
  • test data warehouse to store core information for reporting by DHB
  • feedback processes where patients wish to be contacted
  • surveys being sent to a sample group of patients on a fortnightly basis by email, text and mail, with links to an online survey or manual option
  • draft dashboard reports that will be reviewed as survey responses come in.

During the testing phase South Canterbury DHB has managed to go from no patient email field in the patient management system to patient emails being available in the first round of patient data extracted for surveying.

Our first test survey is in progress and survey cycles will continue fortnightly until March 2014.

2014/15 DHB performance measures

All DHBs are expected to report national patient experience data for in-patients (some exclusions apply) from 1 July 2014. It is intended the reporting be aligned with other quarterly reporting requirements. The indicators will also form part of the Commission’s Quality & Safety Indicators programme. A new measure has been included in the 2014/15 DHB non-financial monitoring framework and performance measures document.

Northland DHB capturing patient experience with iPads

In parallel to the proof of concept testing, Northland DHB are aligning a pre-existing patient experience initiative with the developing national survey tool. Chief Medical Officer, Michael Roberts commented “we have been trying to make sure that we accurately capture patients’ experience of their time in hospital. We are using iPads, taken to the wards and out-patient departments so that patients can answer a wide variety of questions relating to their care. The results are fed back to the wards and departments where the surveys have been conducted and also to the hospitals management team. Ultimately the data will be made public as we feel this is a key area of accountability.” The questions that Northland DHB is using are a subset of the full survey tool. This approach is a valuable complement to the full survey.

Last updated 20/05/2014