Friday 21 May 2010

Transparent patient experience at heart of NHS quality improvement

“We will enable patients to rate hospitals and doctors according to the quality of care they received, and we will require hospitals to be open about mistakes and always tell patients if something has gone wrong,”

The UK Government has made rating of hospitals and doctors - and publishing all this information in a transparent "TripAdvisor for Health" manner - central to the improvements the NHS needs to deliver.

There is strong evidence that systematic reviews and rating of hospitals and individual doctors is powerful in driving quality improvement - and this announcement will be welcomed by patients and all those providers focused on excellence. iWantGreatCare has been working with those providers and commissioners leading the way in harnessing patient experience to deliver quality improvement in a time of financial squeeze, and who have already seen the massive, transformational benefits that such an approach delivers: better care, lower costs, increased staff satisfaction.

For organsisations new to this area there may be many questions about how best to collect this information, how to meet the needs of non-English speakers, offline versus online feedback, information governance and data protection issues etc.

The good news is that all these challenges have been solved and the benefits of embracing patient experience to improve quality are available to all doctors, Trusts and hospitals today - even before the Government make it mandatory.

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