Patient experience at South Metropolitan Health Service

Two woman sitting in chairs and talking. Both women hold a printed brochure.Patient experience is the extent to which care delivered by a health service meets the physical and emotional needs of the patient, their family and carers, and takes into consideration the diversity of backgrounds and needs.

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 a key element 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, including:

Receiving feedback allows us to identify the strengths and the opportunities for improvement of the health service overall.

Patient Evaluation of Health Services

The Patient Evaluation of Health Services (PEHS) is WA’s only systemwide method for the ongoing monitoring and benchmarking of public patients’ experience of and satisfaction with their hospital stay. This program is undertaken using a collaborative approach between the Department of Health Health Survey Unit, Epidemiology Branch and Edith Cowan University.

Through tailored surveys, the PEHS covers several different patient groups, and was developed in conjunction with consumers and assists hospitals in identifying areas of high performance and areas that require action.

Eligible patients are randomly selected to participate in the survey conducted by Survey Research Centre at Edith Cowan University using a computer assisted telephone interview (CATI) system.

Patients are first asked to rank seven aspects of healthcare from most important to least important. Patients are then asked specific questions about their experience and satisfaction during their recent hospital stay.

The following patient groups are surveyed:

  • adult admitted patients (annually)
  • child admitted patients (annually)
  • adult emergency department attendees (two yearly)
  • maternity patients (three yearly)

Results from the surveys are provided annually for the SMHS overall and for each SMHS hospital. These results are analysed against agreed benchmarks to identify areas that require improvement and this information is then used to develop action plans to address any identified issues.

Questions are grouped into the seven major scales of satisfaction and the outcome scale. The seven major scales reported include:

  • Access scale: getting into hospital
  • Consistency scale: continuity of care
  • Informed scale: information and communication
  • Needs scale: meeting personal needs
  • Residential scale: residential aspects of the hospital
  • Time and care Scale: time and attention paid to patient care.

Scale scores

Scale scores represent the mean (average) rating or response category of the questions that make up a particular scale. This average is then converted to a score out of 100.

The scores do not represent the percentage of people who are satisfied with the service but how patients in a hospital rated a particular aspect of health service.

Overall indicator of satisfaction score

The overall indicator of satisfaction score is the average of the scales weighted by their importance as ranked by respondents.

See how we measure up – adult admitted patients survey

The SMHS hospitals included in the overall indicator of satisfaction score for adult admitted patients includes Fiona Stanley Hospital, Fremantle Hospital, Rockingham General Hospital and Peel Health Campus.

Figure 1 below shows the overall indicator of satisfaction score for SMHS in the Adult admitted patients survey for:

  • 2015/2016
  • 2016/2017
  • 2017/2018.

Figure 1: Overall indicator of satisfaction score for SMHS in the Adult Admitted Patients Survey, 2015–2018

SMHS improved the overall indicator of satisfaction score for adult admitted patients in the last reporting period and scored above the benchmark.

What do these figures show?

  • SMHS improved the overall indicator of satisfaction score for adult admitted patients in the last reporting period and scored above the benchmark. 
See how we measure up – child admitted patients survey

The SMHS hospitals included in the overall indicator of satisfaction score includes Fiona Stanley Hospital, Rockingham General hospital and Peel Health Campus.

Figure 2 below shows the overall indicator of satisfaction score for SMHS in the Child admitted patients survey for:

  • 2015/2016
  • 2016/2017
  • 2017/2018.

Figure 2: Overall indicator of satisfaction score for SMHS in the Child admitted patients survey, 2015–2018

SMHS improved the overall indicator of satisfaction score for child admitted patients in the last reporting period and scored above the benchmark.  SMHS has remained above the benchmark over the past three reporting periods.

What do these figures show?

  • SMHS improved the overall indicator of satisfaction score for child admitted patients in the last reporting period and scored above the benchmark. 
  • SMHS has remained above the benchmark over the past three reporting periods.
See how we measure up – maternity patient survey

The SMHS hospitals included in the overall indicator of satisfaction score included:

  • 2011/2012 – Rockingham General Hospital and Peel Health Campus
  • 2014/2015 and 2017/2018 – Fiona Stanley Hospital, Rockingham General Hospital and Peel Health Campus

Figure 4 below shows the overall indicator of satisfaction score for SMHS in the Maternity patients survey for:

  • 2011/2012
  • 2015/2016
  • 2017/2018.

Figure 4: Overall indicator satisfaction score for SMHS in the Maternity Patients Survey, 2011–2018

•	SMHS overall indicator of satisfaction score has remained above the benchmark over all reporting periods with an increase in score demonstrated in over surveys.

What do these figures show?

  • SMHS overall indicator of satisfaction score has remained above the benchmark over all reporting periods with an increase in score demonstrated in over surveys.
See how we measure up – adult emergency department patients

The SMHS hospitals included in the overall indicator of satisfaction score included:

  • 2014/2015 – Fremantle Hospital, Fiona Stanley Hospital, Rockingham General Hospital and Peel Health Campus
  • 2015/2016 and 2017/2018 – Fiona Stanley Hospital, Rockingham General Hospital and Peel Health Campus

Figure 3 below shows the overall indicator of satisfaction score for SMHS in the Adult emergency department patients survey for:

  • 2014/2015
  • 2015/2016
  • 2017/2018.

Figure 3 Overall indicator satisfaction score for SMHS in the Adult Emergency Department Patients Survey, 2014–2018

•	SMHS has improved the overall indicator satisfaction score over the reporting periods, however remains under the benchmark of ≥80.

What do these figures show?

  • SMHS has improved the overall indicator satisfaction score over the reporting periods, however remains under the benchmark of ≥80.

SMHS has established Consumer Advisory Groups (CAG) to provide the patient’s perspective of our care delivery and suggestions for improvement. Fiona Stanley Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) CAG has initiated several projects aimed at making the ED experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible. The ED CAG was established in 2016 and is the only emergency department consumer group in Australia. One ongoing project includes the collection and sharing stories from patients, carers and family members who visit the ED with staff to help them better understand their experiences. Read more about the work of the ED CAG (external site).

Produced by

South Metropolitan Health Service