Ennis Hospital has been recognised for the Best Overall Experience in a Hospital at a conference attended by the Minister for Health Simon Harris.
Over 26,000 patients from 40 acute hospitals around the country completed the survey. Minister Harris told attendees at the National Patient Experience Survey Conference that any private sector organisation would be “rightly proud” of the 84% overall satisfaction rating patients gave acute hospitals in Ireland.
The Minister said: “The results of National Patient Experience Survey I believe give a very honest and realistic appraisal of our health service today and in fact they very much reflect what I hear from personal stories as I travel around and visit primary care, social care and acute hospital settings. Patients speak very highly of our staff and of their journey through the hospital, often from the point of admission to the point of discharge. It is not a surprise to me but it is perhaps a surprise to many that 84% of respondents described their overall stay in hospital as being good or very good.”
“However, there are clearly challenges; areas in which we fell down; areas where we need to improve; and we shouldn’t shy away from that,” the Minister added.
“This piece of work is essential for policymakers, for service providers and for regulators; it gives our patient a direct say in improving the quality and safety of our health service, something we should never fear; and their voices and their experience must continue to shape the future of our health service.”
In the 2018 survey, 98% of patients in Ennis Hospital rated their overall experience as very good, compared to a national average of 84%.
The survey asked every patient who had spent at least one night in an acute hospital during May 2018 for their feedback through over 50 detailed questions. The survey was broken down into different sections representing the patient journey (Admissions, Care on the Ward; Examination, Diagnosis and Treatment; and Discharge Transfer) and Ennis Hospital achieved an above average rating at every applicable stage of care.
Among the findings in Ennis were that 100% of patients said they were always treated with respect and dignity while in hospital; 98% said they were always given enough privacy; 100% of patients who had questions about their procedure/operation said they were answered in a way they could understand and 98% described their room or ward as very clean.
Patricia O’Gorman, Operational Director of Nursing, Ennis Hospital, told conference attendees that staff in Ennis had worked hard on improving the patient experience.
She outlined a number of initiatives around improving written information on medications and care plans ahead of discharge; increasing the number of staff wearing name badges and increasing awareness among patients of supports available to them about their worries or concerns. And Ms O’Gorman highlighted a number of values-driven, patient-centred projects that were part of the culture of Ennis Hospital.
“Joy in work comes from understanding why your work is important; not from the work but from the knowledge that the patient is going to use it. This is who we are working for and this is who depends on us,” said Ms O’Gorman.
Feedback from the 2018 survey identified a number of areas where Ennis can improve, including medical staff taking more time to discuss care and treatment with their patients and more work around discharge planning. Ms O’Gorman said staff in Ennis were committed to making further improvements and outlined a number of initiatives underway around health literacy; written and verbal communication and protection of mealtimes for surgical patients.
Three additional quality improvement projects from UL Hospitals Group were showcased at this Tuesday’s conference: a Patient Information Booklet at UHL; patient-facing posters at ward level (‘You Said, We Are Doing’) highlighting improvements made as a result of patient feedback at UHL; and the Patient Befriender volunteer role at Nenagh Hospital.