Do we pass the ‘granny’ test?

Most of you will be aware of my passion for improving the patient experience. I have done several blogs and addresses on the need for our patients to be treated with compassion and dignity and the need to enable family and whaanau to be a part of the care process. I am pleased to say that we have formalised the way in which we can measure our patients’ experience.

The CM Health Inpatient Experience Survey began in April this year and provides patients with an on-line survey two weeks after their discharge from hospital. They are asked about their recent hospital stay and the results are collated and analysed each month. This provides us with timely, relevant and more importantly, actionable information to clinicians and managers to improve the patient experience.

The survey focuses on aspects of care and treatment that we believe matter most to patients. We ask patients what they rate as the most important things that they consider make the most difference to the quality of care we provide. Unsurprisingly, these three things are, in order of patient priority, communication, being treated with compassion, dignity and respect and consistent and coordinated hospital care.

 So, how are we doing? Overall, patients are rating our inpatient services communication (mostly) positively. However, I believe it is from the negative reports that we can learn the most. While the positive comments came from 74% of patients surveyed so far, 8% rated our communications with them as poor. Around a third of our patients felt that clinical staff did not always listen to them or felt they had been given enough time to discuss their health needs and treatment. I think this is very telling. We are a very busy hospital and we often experience huge patient loads, but with communication being rated as the most important thing that patients want and need, we can clearly make more efforts to both understand and be understood.

You can help us understand our patients’ point-of-view and use the insights to improve the quality of our services. Please let the survey team know how you are using the information they provide, what actions you are taking as a result of this feedback and if you notice any changes as a result of the actions. contact Also, please remember to note patient email addresses.


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Author: Geraint Martin

Geraint Martin was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Counties Manukau DHB in December 2006. It is one of the largest District Health Boards in New Zealand and services a population of half a million. He has significant experience over 30 years in national policy & in managing both primary and secondary care . Previously, he was Director of Health and Social Care Strategy at the Welsh Government .He authored a radical 10 year strategy of reform, including the successful “Saving 1000 lives” Campaign.Until 2004, he was CEO at Kettering General Hospital & had held senior positions in London & Birmingham.He has worked closely with clinicians in improving clinical standards,patient safety,chronic disease management & managing acute care to reduce hospital demand.In NZ, He has promoted clinical quality and leadership as central to improving patientcare. This has led to a significant increases in productivity and access, whilst maintaining financial balance. CMH has completed in 2014 a $500 m capital redevelopment programme, the largest in New Zealand. A central part of this is the establishment of Ko Awatea,the Centre for Innovation and Research which will underpin CMH as one of the the leading health systems in Australasia.In 2008, he chaired the Ministerial Review of Emergency Care in New Zealand, and in 2013 was an member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Health Sector Performance. Geraint has an MSc in Health Policy from Birmingham University .His post-graduate work has focused on health economics and Corporate Strategy . He is adjunct Professor of Healthcare Management at AUT and Victoria University, Wellington Elected in 2006 as a Companion of the Institute of Healthcare Management, previously he was an Associate Fellow at Birmingham University.He is is Chair of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, a member of the Institute of Directors, on the Board of the NZ Institute of Health Management & previously the Board of The NZ Health Quality and Safety Commission.

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