The first ever National Patient Experience Survey has been launched this morning (Wednesday) by Minister for Health Simon Harris. This survey gives patients an opportunity to describe their experiences in order for this information to be used to improve our health service.
Commencing on 1 May 2017, all adult patients who are discharged from a public acute hospital during this month will be invited to participate in the survey. Up to 27,000 patients will be eligible to take part, making this the largest single survey of the healthcare system in Ireland. Patients will be asked 61 questions on topics such as confidence and trust in hospital staff, hospital food, care and treatment, and whether their medications and possible side-effects were explained before discharge from hospital.
A joint initiative by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health, the National Patient Experience Survey Programme will use data collected from the survey to shape future healthcare policy and improve outcomes for patients. It will be a key building block in the creation of a strong patient safety culture in our health service.
It was stated at the launch in Dublin, evidence from other countries suggests that learning from the experience of patients is the best way to improve health outcomes. Patients become engaged, active and informed about their care. Service providers benefit as areas for improving patient care in individual units are identified, assurance in the quality of care is provided, and care can be benchmarked.