Patient experience is a vital but complex area.
Growing evidence tells us that patient experience is a good indicator of the quality of health services. Better experience, stronger partnerships with consumers, and patient and family-centred care have been linked to improved health, clinical, financial, service and satisfaction outcomes.
With this in mind, the Commission wishes to ensure that patient experience is a part of our measurement of health care quality and safety. Patient experience is a component of our Quality and Safety Indicators framework.
Until recently there was no consistent national approach to collection, measurement and use of patient experience information on a regular basis.
Adult inpatient survey
The Commission has designed a new 20 item adult inpatient survey which began in August 2014 as part of addressing this gap. Patient experience measures are now routinely in place for hospitals. The survey runs quarterly in all district health boards and covers four key domains of patient experience: communication, partnership, co-ordination and physical and emotional needs.
A selection of adult patients who spent at least one night in hospital are sent an invitation via email, text or post inviting them to participate in the national survey. The survey responses are anonymous unless patients choose to provide their contact details.
Primary care patient experience survey
In December 2014 the Ministry of Health and the Commission began work to introduce patient experience measures for primary care using online patient surveys. The primary care patient experience survey is being developed by the Commission to find out what patients’ experience in primary care is like and how their overall care is managed between their general practice, diagnostic services, specialists, and or hospital staff.
A small number of practices across New Zealand will begin using this new survey in February 2016.