The Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise (MRHP) will again this year participate in the National Patient Experience Survey.
The annual survey - the largest of its kind in Ireland - offers patients the opportunity to share their experiences of the hospital and to outline what improvements they believe are necessary.
This provides a clear picture of the safety and quality of care in Irish hospitals, as seen through the eyes of patients.
An estimated 28,000 patients will be eligible to participate in this year’s survey - 402 inpatients in the Laois facility.
Two hundred and nine patients from Portlaoise Hospital took part in last year’s survey, a response rate of 52%. Overall, patients’ ratings of their experiences at Portlaoise Hospital were above the national average. 88% of patients at Portlaoise Hospital said they had a ‘very good’ or ‘good’ experience, compared with 84% nationally.
The hospital achieved significantly higher scores to the national average across the various stages of care.
The majority of patients reported positive experiences of communicating with nurses and of receiving clear explanations about the outcomes of their operation or procedure. In addition, most patients had confidence and trust in hospital staff. There were also areas needing improvement.
For instance, patients were not always satisfied with the answers they received from doctors. Similarly, many patients said that they were not completely informed about the expected outcome of an operation or procedure.
According to Michael Knowles General Manager, Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise, “The Patient Experience Survey is critically important to the hospital as it provides an opportunity for those patients that stayed in our hospital over the month of May to express their view as to their experience.
“It essentially gives our patients a clear voice, to say what they liked and what could have been improved.
“For those who are working in healthcare, it helps align our improvement efforts with the priorities identified by our patients, thus making our services safer and more effective for all.”
These 2018 findings are informing quality improvement initiatives for 2019/2020 at Portlaoise Hospital including:
· A Multi-disciplinary Discharge Planning Working Group has been established to improve hospital processes around patient discharge. Initiatives such as electronic discharge summary and improved written discharge information are at advance stages.
· The ‘What Matters to Me’ quality improvement initiative has been implemented to enhance person-centered care communications, which includes improvements in listening to and providing for patients in hospital. The aim is to provide a service that does not assume knowledge on the thoughts of patients but, rather asks them directly and responds to their needs.
Comfort Packs are now being distributed to patients who are delayed in the Emergency Department, which contain essentials including an eye mask, ear plugs, toothbrush and toothpaste. The patient is also given water wipes and the all-important pair of non-slip socks.
· Clinical Microsystems Programme in ED - Clinical Microsystems is a quality improvement approach which originated at the Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Dartmouth College, USA. It is a pragmatic and intuitive approach that has been used widely in healthcare settings which places the patient and healthcare worker at the core of improvement activities.
· Dementia Friendly Initiatives have been introduced which focus on enhancing a dementia friendly environment, including a collective approach to education pertaining to Dementia.
· Nutrition and Hydration Initiatives have been implemented which include: a review of hospital menus to accommodate different dietary requirements or preferences; a review of modified texture diets; and Protected Mealtimes to provide an environment conducive to patients enjoying and being able to eat their meals.
Trevor O’Callaghan, Group CEO Dublin Midlands Hospital Group said, “The 2018 results of the National Patient Experience Survey reflect the values and principles outlined in our Hospital Group Strategy. I would like to commend all our hospitals on their individual results; they excelled in different areas.
“The results provide clear markers for improvement and this is very important and worthwhile work and it will take time for these improvements to be realised. I wish to thank staff for their commitment to improving our patient’s experience.
“We would again encourage our patients to participate in this year’s survey – your feedback is very important to us and provides us with important information on how we can continue to improve patient care and build on positive patient experience,” he concluded.