Tuesday 10 March 2009

Gordon Brown embraces web-rating of healthcare

Few of you will have missed this week's announcement that web-based ratings of patient experience will become a mainstay of both delivering truly patient-centric care, and of ensuring patient experience is integral to the assessment of quality in the NHS.

The iWantGreatCare team is naturally delighted by the rapid, widespread recognition of the need to harness patient opinion in this way - having been amongst the first to have given NHS Trusts the ability to realise the many benefits of this path to total quality. As contributors to the Darzi Review in this area it is fantastic to see the principles of how to maximise benefits to both patients and healthcare professionals central in these plans.

The critical next step of course is to truly engage the public, professionals and all NHS Trusts with how such systems can directly improve quality of care, staff-satisfaction and the experience of every single patient in the UK.

Two key principles:

1. For users: Ensuring all data is open, transparent, easy to access and comparative - enabling true choice and maximising pressure on organisations to be excellent

2. For organisations and professionals: Feedback must be granular and real-time. If a patient says care was excellent on Ward 5A then the team there must now promptly. Likewise if three users says the dermatology out-patients is dirty and over-crowded the staff and managers need to know that day, so they can take immediate action - not have to wait six months for a HCC review to tell them that patients are having a poor experience.


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