The results of Ireland’s first ever National Patient Experience Survey are expected to be published by the end of the year. National, Hospital Group, and individual hospital reports are expected in December.
This survey aimed to give patients an opportunity to describe their experiences so that this information could be used to improve the health service.
All adult patients who spent a minimum of one night in a public acute hospital, were discharged in May 2017 and had a postal address in the Republic of Ireland were eligible to participate in the survey. These patients received the survey by post a few weeks after discharge, and could complete the form via post or online.
This meant that up to 27,000 patients were eligible to take part, making it the largest single survey of the healthcare system in Ireland.
Patients were 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.
HIQA said that the National Patient Experience Survey Programme would use data collected from the survey to shape future healthcare policy and improve outcomes for patients. It would be a key building block in the creation of a strong patient safety culture in the r health service.
The survey is a joint initiative by HIQA, the HSE and the Department of Health.
Other services, such as maternity and mental health, may be included in future surveys.
Health Minister, Simon Harris said the survey would identify areas for improvement providing a direct focus for changes required. He was also confident that through this survey many examples of good practice would be discovered which could be shared across the country.
“Capturing these important messages is vital for patients, hospital managers and not least for the staff providing the care in our hospitals,” he said.
Tony O’Brien, Director General of the HSE said the HSE, welcomed this significant and very important survey programme, which would provide the organisation with robust, evidence based information about patient experience across acute hospital services in Ireland.
He said the survey was part of a grass-roots led approach to quality improvement. The findings of the survey would be used to identify areas of priority and programmes for improvement.
Rachel Flynn, HIQA’s Director of Health Information and Standards and Programme Director for the National Patient Experience Survey said evidence from other countries suggested that learning from the experience of patients was the best way to improve health outcomes.