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A very interesting post on Fierce Healthcare blog about the link between patient satisfaciton and profit in the US. This is also highly relevant to the way the NHS is going. When revalidation comes doctors will be judged on how happy their patients are, and patients will choose doctors with the best track record.
“Hospitals with high performance scores in patient care are more profitable, according to a new Press Ganey report. The top 25 percent of U.S. hospitals with the highest scores on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) question about performance were, on average, the most profitable and had the highest clinical scores, suggesting that patient experience, coupled with clinical outcomes, can mean financial profitability for the institution.
“It is interesting to note that the only hospitals that showed a positive profit margin were those that were highly rated by their patients,” the report states. “…Although there is not a lot of difference in the clinical measures among the four groups of hospitals segmented on patient rating score, the top quarter of hospitals based on HCAHPS overall rating score also have the highest average clinical score. Taken together, these [results] suggest that excellence in patient experiences, clinical outcomes and financial profitability often occur together.”
The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement is publishing a profile of the Snoring Disorders Centre, outlining the service and the impact it has had both for individual patients and Lincolnshire as a whole. This will be put up on the NHS Innovations website and circulated throughout the NHS as an example of best practice in service innovation. Here is an extract on the benefits the service has had in road accident reduction:
“Occupational road related deaths and accidents in Lincolnshire average about 79 per year. 20% of car accidents are shown to be sleep related although it’s uncertain how many are due to obstructive sleep apnoea. The cost of each fatal accident is around £1.64 million, so every accident prevented is of significant benefit to society and to the NHS. Many of our patients admit to feeling drowsy at the wheel.
“By December 2010, the number of fatal road traffic accidents had fallen from 79 to 45. This represents a saving of over £55 million to the economy, including the NHS. A contributory factor may be that the service has treated over 1,200 patients with sleep apnoea and these people are now able to drive more safely, rather than being in fear of falling asleep at the wheel.
“One patient who drives 50,000 miles a year for work said using the CPAP machine to treat his sleep apnoea has turned his life around: ‘For four or five years I struggled to sleep and I used to need two naps every day just to get through the day. My GP referred me to Mr Oko when I said I had trouble sleeping. Within weeks he got me on a CPAP machine which I use every night and I’ve never looked back. It’s made a huge difference to my life’.”
Asking your friends and neighbors to recommend a good hospital is the best way to find high-quality care, according to a study from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
The researchers compared patient satisfaction surveys and clinical performance measures, such as administering standardized tests, from two large federal databases. Focusing on three common ailments, heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia, the team measured 30-day readmission rates at roughly 2,500 hospitals. The readmission rate reflects the number of patients who are hospitalized again within 30 days of discharge.
The patient satisfaction scores were more closely linked with high-quality hospital care than clinical performance measures, the authors found.
“Patients can sense if a hospital is doing things right,” said co-author Richard Staelin, professor of business administration at Fuqua. “If you want to figure out if a hospital is providing high-quality care, asking patients if they were satisfied with their care is a better indicator than whether the staff competently performs a battery of tests.”
I use the Jayex QI Interactive system in my clinic to do just that, and strongly believe that patient opinion should be used to guide the future of the NHS. Access to detailed patient feedback can enable consultants like myself to transform services to specifically meet the needs of the patient. By continually monitoring patient feedback all year round in real-time, doctors can analyse performance on an ongoing basis, and share best practice across the NHS.
Jayex’s QI touch screen solution enables the trust to instantly review patient feedback to assist in the delivery of high-quality patient centred care
Jayex, the healthcare display technology specialist, today announces that United Lincolnshire NHS Trust (ULHT) has selected Jayex QI Interactive survey and patient information management kiosk to provide real-time feedback from its patients. United Lincolnshire NHS Trust aims to utilise patient feedback to improve service delivery, review patient wait-times and plan for service redesign where necessary. The survey and patient information management touch screen solution allows patients to immediately feedback on their visit at the Trust whilst awaiting discharge.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust invests each year in improving clinical services by replacing and upgrading medical equipment, modernising its estate and facilities and improving the information and technology infrastructure. In an average year, ULHT treats more than 180,000 accident and emergency patients, nearly half a million outpatients and almost 100,000 inpatients. As part of ULHT’s bid to modernise its facilities and enhance service wholly centred on the visiting patients, UHLT realised the best way to deliver this objective was through direct patient feedback.
Dr. Michael Oko, head of department for ENT surgery, general surgery and sleep service at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, comments on the importance of receiving patient feedback, “With the NHS undergoing significant reform, healthcare organisations are required to deliver efficiency savings whilst simultaneously improving the services delivered by clinicians to the patient. In addition, the introduction of medical revalidation demands that healthcare organisations, clinicians and GPs holding registration with a licence to practise will have to demonstrate to the General Medical Council (GMC) that they are fit to practise and complying with the relevant professional standards. An essential part of the revalidation process is measuring patient feedback and healthcare organisations must deploy the tools that will enable them to gather feedback and measure performance in advance of revalidation.”
Dr. Oko, explains, “Without the evidence to illustrate the level of service currently being provided to patients, healthcare organisations and GPs will have an impossible task of reviewing performance and improving areas of service – if and where necessary. Jayex’s QI Interactive solution offers healthcare organisations instant access to patient views and will greatly support healthcare professionals in the run-up to revalidation.”
“There are a number of ways in which patient feedback can be consumed, however, many of these methods demand time and resource, such as written questionnaires requiring manual entry of answers into a system and data analysis. Alternatively a web-based survey relies on the patient to log-on at home which would naturally reduce the number of respondents. The Jayex QI Interactive survey and information management kiosk alleviates these issues and provides the patient with a simple and quick way to give their feedback and delivers clear statistical information to managers and clinicians on their performance, the service the patients received and the surrounding environment.” said Dr. Oko.
The recent whitepaper – Liberating the NHS – outlined plans to revolutionise the NHS through the use of information to ensure patients receive high-quality patient care. With that in mind, healthcare organisations must consider ways of gathering feedback from patients to measure current performance, identify areas which require improvement and highlight examples where a department or clinician has excelled in order to promote best-practice across the local health economy.
Dr. Oko, adds, “At the heart of the NHS is patient satisfaction. The Jayex QI Interactive allows us to obtain the information that can enable ULHT to transform services to specifically meet the needs of the patient. By continually monitoring patient feedback all year round in real-time, we can avoid only hearing the complaints, analyse performance on an ongoing basis and share best practice across the Trust where clinicians and consultants regularly receive positive feedback.
“Healthcare is a service industry, but it doesn’t seem to behave like one. If you’ve got no evidence that you are delivering a good service to your patients, then it is impossible to review and improve upon. The patient survey and information management kiosk provides the Trust with instant access to patient views and offers a great platform to enhance our service for patients in the region.”
Full release published in E-Heath Insider
Online magazine Health Matters has published an article on the importance of monitoring patient feedback for the medical revalidation process for doctors that the General Medical Council will begin in 2012:
“In whatever way the structure of the NHS evolves over the next decade, the challenge will be to juggle financial constraints and growing patient power. It is those GP practices and hospital departments that can create a seamless customer experience, automatically gaining customer feedback throughout the process – that will be best placed to respond to the challenges of the new health economy. By continually monitoring real-time patient feedback, healthcare organisations can analyse performance on an on-going basis, share best practice and transform services to specifically meet the needs of the patient. Using interactive touch screen technology healthcare organisations attain insight that will greatly assist them in refining service levels as revalidation looms.”
I use the Jayex QI Interactive system in my clinic to do just that, and strongly believe that this is not just a tool for revalidation, but that patient opinion should be used to guide the future of the NHS. Access to detailed patient feedback can enable consultants like myself to transform services to specifically meet the needs of the patient. By continually monitoring patient feedback all year round in real-time, doctors can analyse performance on an ongoing basis, and share best practice across the NHS.
As I stated in a recent news release on patient satisfaction, patient power should be at the heart of the NHS. Healthcare is a service industry, but it doesn’t seem to behave like one. If you’ve got no evidence that you are delivering a good service to your patients, then it is impossible to review and improve upon. As the article argues:
“In an increasingly patient-centric NHS, there is a clear need to improve understanding of the customer experience, from the difficulties of making appointments to feedback on the cleanliness of the waiting environment or a demand for specific local services. The ability to capture information in real-time ensures problems can be rapidly flagged-up and proactive changes made.”