2017 patient survey shows experience of care in local hospitals

By Janice Roberts

The results of the 2017 Discovery Health Patient Survey Scores (PaSS), unveiling the list of the leading 20 hospitals, as rated by patients based on their in-hospital experience, have been finalised and published on the Discovery website.

Members of Discovery Health administered schemes who were hospitalised in 2017 rated their experiences in 140 hospitals. Of these, the following hospitals (listed in alphabetical order) were rated by Discovery Health members as the leading hospitals in terms of patient experience:

  1. Ahmed Al-Kadi Private Hospital
  2. Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre
  3. Gateway Private Hospital
  4. Hillcrest Private Hospital
  5. Life Bay View Private Hospital
  6. Life Carstenhof Hospital
  7. Life Chatsmed Garden Hospital
  8. Life Mount Edgecombe Hospital
  9. Life Roseacres Hospital
  10. Life St Dominics Hospital
  11. Life Suikerbosrand Hospital
  12. Life West Coast Private Hospital
  13. Lowveld Hospital
  14. Mediclinic Milnerton
  15. Mediclinic Panorama
  16. Mediclinic Victoria
  17. N1 City Hospital
  18. Nu-Shifa Hospital
  19. Wilmed Park Private Hospital
  20. Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital

Why survey the patient-experience?

The Patient Survey Score aims to place a focus on patient-centred care by measuring patients’ experience of care in private hospitals, and by making the information publicly available to stimulate patient empowerment and to encourage hospital management teams to take patient views seriously.

This globally validated survey, which we have reported on since 2014 is now in its fourth year. It allows patients to constructively voice their views to highlight excellence in patient care, as well as to raise awareness of any gaps requiring attention and improvement.

“Making a patient’s experience of care visible rightly recognises healthcare excellence while also highlighting opportunities to close certain gaps in how care is experienced by patients and families,” says Dr Roshini Moodley Naidoo, Head of Quality of Care at Discovery Health.

Overall patient-experience scores have improved year-on-year, showing that hospitals surveyed are increasingly meeting higher patient’s expectations.

Dr Moodley Naidoo emphasises that, “By measuring patient experience and reporting on it publicly, year-on-year, we track the improvement strategies that healthcare providers implement following the previous year’s survey. By focusing on continuous improvement, this enables a healthcare system of sustained excellence.”

Explaining the data-collection process

A survey is sent by email to adult members of schemes administered by Discovery Health seven days after they have been discharged from hospital. Members admitted to the same hospital more than once are only surveyed once every four months. If a member goes to a different hospital, then each admission is surveyed separately.

Patient feedback is solicited across the following important categories of care:

  • Quality of care by nursing staff
  • Responsiveness of staff
  • Quality of care by doctors
  • The hospital environment
  • Pain management
  • Information shared with patients about their medication
  • Information shared with patients about their discharge
  • Overall hospital rating

Since the inception of PaSS in 2014, there has been a steady improvement in patient scores across survey categories. Categories that consistently score the highest include communication by doctors and the management of pain. Encouragingly, the categories that have shown good improvement include information about medication and communication with nurses. An area that we hope to see improvement in is the provision of information about and planning for discharge. “Patients who are prepared well for discharge have better health outcomes, and are at lower risk of repeat admissions, which makes this an important area of focus. Repeat admissions are worldwide regarded as a care gap,” explains Dr Moodley Naidoo.

The latest results show a significant improvement in the overall hospital PaSS summary score which reflects the improvement initiatives underway at hospitals.

Of interest:

Dr Moodley Naidoo adds: “Where hospitals achieve a low patient experience score this does not necessarily mean a hospital does not deliver high quality care. The experience score does however, reveal areas for potential improvement – which the hospital may already be addressing.”

The importance of building a more patient-centred healthcare system

“It is important to continue to listen carefully to the patient voice in an effort to establish those private hospitals offering high-quality patient-centred care. Then, making this information available online – and updating it annually – means patients can benefit from data that allows for informed choice in selecting the best hospitals for a patient’s needs,” adds Dr Moodley Naidoo.

“Discovery Health congratulates all hospitals on the 2017 honours list for building a more patient-centred healthcare system, which understands and responds quickly to patients’ needs, and involves patients and their families in care decisions,” concludes Moodley Naidoo.

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