The bi-annual survey asked patients and families 39 questions covering the admission process, communication, the environment and food, family needs, care provision, discharge and general feedback.
The results from this survey were overwhelmingly positive, but highlighted a number of areas of improvement for the hospital. A number of projects are in place to focus on these areas and improve results, therefore making the overall hospital experience as positive as it can be for all patients and families.
The reach of this survey expanded from previous surveys to include outpatients, and many families were made aware of the survey via the RCH Facebook page, with a 150 per cent increase in the response rate compared with the previous survey.
The primary respondents (88 per cent) were parents, with patients making up 10 per cent.
When asked about the admission process and orientation to the ward the results were positive with 88 percent of respondents answering ‘yes’ to the question ‘the nurse showed me where to find everything’. Results show that patients and families also have a good understanding of what a Medical Emergency Team (MET) call is with the majority answering ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’.
The survey highlighted room for improvement in communicating The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights with the majority of respondents saying they either did not receive the pamphlet or staff did not make sure they understood what the pamphlet was about. To improve on this the RCH is currently reviewing the process and plans to implements a new ‘bed side hotel style’ guide for each patient room, which would include this information as well as making the information available on the RCH website and translating the information to languages other than English.
The results for communication were promising with an overwhelming 96 percent of respondents answering ‘yes’ to ‘the staff spoke to us in a way we could understand’; 89 percent answering ‘yes’ to ‘the staff made us feel like we were part of the team caring for ‘me’ the patient’; and 91 per cent saying the staff had listed to what we had to say.
A focus point for the hospital is improving communication in a culturally diverse environment. The majority of respondents said they were not asked if they required an interpreter and were not asked about their cultural needs. To improve this, the hospital is working to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander awareness training package, as well as enhancing the hospital’s celebration of Cultural Diversity Week in March. The RCH will also explore a multicultural education package for staff.
The survey shows that the large majority of patients and families at the RCH are happy with the environment at the hospital. 95 per cent of respondents said the inpatient rooms were comfortable; 75 percent enjoyed the food choices; 69 per cent said they had access to more food if they were still hungry after a meal; and 87 per cent said the food met their individual dietary needs. A specific food services survey is now planned to further understand the likes and dislikes of the RCH patient food service.
In terms of family satisfaction the results were positive with 91 per cent saying the family member staying with the patient was comfortable; 98 per cent saying family could visit at any time (where appropriate); and 82 per cent saying the family member staying with the patient was able to get food from within the hospital to meet their needs.
The survey highlighted that the biggest concerns for families at the hospital was the price of food and car parking. As a result the RCH has planned to explore methods to help reduce the parking and food costs to families visiting the hospital.
Again the results in the area of care provision were overwhelmingly positive with 93 per cent of respondents saying the staff always washed their hands and applied gel before they came to the patient’s bedside; 88 per cent said they were able to get help quickly when the patient was in pain; 96 per cent said they were told what the medicines were for; 97 per cent said they felt they could contribute to the care received while in hospital; 95 per cents said they felt staff listened to them when they raised questions about the care received; and 93 per cent said that if something went wrong in the care being delivered the staff had explained what happened.
When it comes to going home and the discharge process the results were also positive. When asked if they were involved in a discussion about going home 90 per cent of respondents answered ‘yes’; 83 per cent of respondents said they were given written information about how to look after the patient when they go home; 92 per cent said staff explained what should happen if the patient becomes unwell at home; 78 per cent said they were given a list of appointment that they need to attend after they leave the hospital; 94 per cent said the staff explained the medications that they had to have after they went home; and 81 per cent said the staff told them when they should follow up with their local health care provider.
The survey showed the hospital’s areas for improvement in the discharge process include follow up with patients post discharge and the provision of written information for patients and families to follow at home. As a result a ‘discharge summary completing project’ is planned as well as the establishment of a new electronic medical record.
The surveys also contained some excellent and helpful general feedback from patients and families. The main concerns for patients and families were the cost of parking, crowded waiting rooms and the cost of food. When asked how the hospital can improve the service we deliver families listed communication between departments, involving families more in decisions, care delivery and treatment, enforcing quite times on wards and discounting the cost of food, parking and accommodation.
The RCH is aware of the high levels of traffic in Specialist Clinics and is currently working on a new queuing project as well as investigating the possibility of having kiosks (with language translations), which would identify where a patient’s appointment is and what the suggested wait time is, as well as suggesting alternate areas to visit around the hospital while waiting. It is hoped that these initiatives would significantly improve the Specialist Clinics experience for patients and families.
Among the things families love most about the hospital were the staff and volunteers, the Pet Therapy Program, the design of the hospital and it’s various spaces, and feeling respected and part of a team.
Thank you to all the wonderful patients and families who took the time to take part in our Patient and Family Satisfaction Survey, and contributing towards making the RCH the best hospital it can possibly be.