Patient experience at South Metropolitan Health Service

The positive links between patient experience, patient safety and the effectiveness of clinical care have become increasingly evident over the last few years.

Understanding how patients, their families and carers experience the care provided is one of the key elements in delivering a high quality service and ultimately safe health care.

Measuring the patient experience

Two women seated in chairs discussing a brochure

Recognising the importance of providing patients with a voice and an opportunity to rate their experience, the South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) gathers feedback in multiple ways, primarily through the following avenues:

  • complaints and compliments
  • Patient Opinion – an online social media platform
  • patient experience surveys.

Receiving feedback allows us to identify the strengths and the opportunities for improvement of the health service overall. From October 2015 until October 2018 SMHS conducted continuous patient experience surveys with the assistance of an independent provider.

Each month eligible participants are randomly selected to receive a questionnaire. Survey participation is anonymous and it includes specialised questionnaires for:

  • adult inpatients
  • mental health inpatients
  • day surgery patients
  • emergency department attendees.

Results are provided quarterly for SMHS overall,  SMHS hospitals and health services, and for individual department/units. Health services and department/units use the results to identify areas that require improvement and develop  action plans to address these.

Overall mean score

The overall mean score is the average score of all the responses from every survey and can be measured for each SMHS hospital.

Benchmark rates

Public facilities benchmark

This refers to all Public Facilities recorded in the independent provider’s database which includes public hospitals across Australia.

Percentile ranking

The 50th percentile ranking is associated with the median (the middle score) of all the Public Facilities in the independent provider’s database. Percentile rankings show how SMHS hospitals are performing in relation to the median of the other public hospitals participating.

See how we measure up – inpatient survey

Figure 1 below shows the overall mean score for each of the SMHS hospitals in the Inpatient Survey for:

  • July – September 2017
  • October – December 2017
  • January – March 2018
  • April – June 2018.

Figure 1: SMHS hospitals overall mean score – inpatient survey, July – September 2017 to April – June 2018

Bar graph shows that Fiona Stanley, Fremantle Hospital and Rockingham Peel Group Hospitals performed above the Public Facilities 50th percentile and improved their quarterly inpatient experience score in the last reporting period.

What do these figures show?

  • All SMHS hospitals performed above the Public Facilities 50th percentile.
  • All SMHS hospitals improved their quarterly inpatient experience score in the last reporting period.
See how we measure up – mental health patient survey

Figure 2 below shows the overall mean score for each of the SMHS hospitals in the mental health survey for:

  • July – September 2017
  • October – December 2017
  • January – March 2018
  • April – June 2018.

Figure 2: SMHS hospitals overall mean score – mental health survey, July – September 2017 to April – June 2018

Graph shows Fiona Stanley and Fremantle Hospitals improved their mental health inpatient experience scores for the April to June 2018 period and performed above the Public Facilities 50th percentile. Rockingham Peel Group had an overall reduction in the overall mean score in comparison to the previous reporting period.  

What do these figures show

  • Both Fiona Stanley Hospital and Fremantle Hospital improved their mental health inpatient experience scores for the April to June 2018 period and both performed above the Public Facilities 50th percentile.
  • Rockingham Peel Group had an overall reduction in the overall mean score in comparison to the previous reporting period.
See how we measure up – day surgery patient survey

Figure 3 below shows the overall mean score for each of the SMHS hospitals in the day surgery survey for:

  • July – September 2017
  • October – December 2017
  • January – March 2018
  • April – June 2018.

Figure 3: SMHS hospitals overall mean score – day surgery survey, July – September 2017 and April – June 2018

Graph shows Rockingham Peel Group improved their overall mean score for day surgery patients in comparison to the previous reporting period and performed above the 50th percentile for Public Facilities. The overall mean scores for Fiona Stanley Hospital and Fremantle Hospital were lower than the January – March 2018 period and are below the public Facilities 50th percentile.

What do these figures show?

  • Rockingham Peel Group improved their overall mean score for day surgery patients in comparison to the previous reporting period and performed above the 50th percentile for Public Facilities.
  • The overall mean scores for Fiona Stanley Hospital and Fremantle Hospital were lower than the January – March 2018 period and are below the public Facilities 50th percentile.
See how we measure up – emergency department patient survey

Figure 4 below shows the overall mean score for each of the SMHS hospitals in the emergency department survey for:

  • July – September 2017
  • October – December 2017
  • January – March 2018
  • April – June 2018.

Figure 4: SMHS hospitals overall mean score – emergency department survey, July – September 2017 to April – June 2018

Bar graph shows •	Fiona Stanley Hospital overall mean score improved over the last reporting period; but is still performing just below the Public Facilities 50th percentile. Rockingham Peel Group is performing above the Public Facilities; however the overall mean score dropped for the April – June 2018 reporting period.

What do these figures show?

  • Fiona Stanley Hospital overall mean score improved over the last reporting period; but is still performing just below the Public Facilities 50th percentile.
  • Rockingham Peel Group is performing above the Public Facilities; however the overall mean score dropped for the April – June 2018 reporting period.
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South Metropolitan Health Service