BHB Sees Patient Satisfaction with Services Rise

Bermuda Hospitals Board today released its first ever results from its monthly patient satisfaction survey, revealing a rising trend in patient satisfaction with acute care services at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital since the survey started three years ago.

An independent company carries out the survey on behalf of BHB, with surveyors telephoning over 300 patients each month who have used hospital outpatient services or been discharged from an inpatient unit within the last 30 days. That means about 3,600 surveys per year inform the results, and over 10,000 surveys for the three year period.

Chairman of the Bermuda Hospitals Board, Wendall Brown, comments: “We are proud to share the patient satisfaction results with Bermuda to highlight that, while there are still improvements to be made, we are on the right track. The monthly survey helps us direct precious financial resources where they are most effective, and then measure results. I am very pleased to see the results trending in the right direction and the Board’s commitment to Bermuda is that we continue reporting our results each year. This should be seen as going hand in hand with our commitment to clinical quality improvement, which is measured regularly by Accreditation Canada, the 2011 review having awarded us a top level result, something only achieved by the top 20% of Canadian hospitals. ”

CEO David Hill, comments: “I am very pleased to share with Bermuda our patient satisfaction survey for the first time. I hope the community is as proud of its hospital as I am to see patient satisfaction trending up, and that they will remain supportive of us on our journey to improve further. As our surveys take place within 30 days of people leaving KEMH, this is our most accurate indicator of satisfaction with our services. The telephone survey was introduced when the Board, under the Chairmanship of Herman Tucker, made it a priority for us to improve patient satisfaction. We report on it every month through the Governance Committee, which is chaired by Board member, Mike Winfield, who has been a tireless champion for improving satisfaction at BHB over the last few years. It helps us evolve and improve services using the evidence from the people who experience them directly – our patients.”

Deputy CEO, Venetta Symonds, comments: “I would like to give a special thank you to all our patients who have taken time to respond. The feedback has had a direct impact on improving our services. Staff at BHB have embraced the results and use them to make improvements at the front line. The senior management team also use the results to identify improvements, prioritise projects and then measure their impact. For example, our ward upgrades and new food delivery systems have been major investments for us and we have seen average satisfaction with the inpatient ward environment rise from 66.3% in 2009 to 75.6% in 2011. The food delivery system was introduced last year and the average annual satisfaction rose from 61.3% in 2009 to 66% in 2011 – although the drill down month by month shows a jump in September as new processes were introduced to utilise the new system and estabish meal times on the wards which meant in December 2011 satisfaction with food reached 72.9%. There’s room to improve further, but the trend is in the right direction. Additionally, the implementation of hourly rounding by our nurses and introduction of a FastTrack service in Emergency were designed to deal with issues raised by patients about their care and wait times. These projects have proven to have lasting and positive impacts on patient satisfaction with inpatient nurses and Emergency wait time. Special mention should go to our physicians and outpatient areas who have consistently satisfied patients over the period since we started surveying.”

Chief of Nursing, Quality & Risk, Judy Richardson, adds: “Alongside testing satisfaction within 30 days, we also have numerous ways for patients to voice dissatisfaction. As part of our survey process, patients are asked if they would be willing to attend focus groups. We held one in February for patients who had raised issues of concern, and we will be using their feedback to help drive improvements relating to care at the hospital. More specifically, we established a patient advocate service in January 2011 to work alongside our existing formal process for clinical complaints. The Patient Advocacy Manager works with patients and their families to resolve non-clinical issues while they are in hospital. In total, we dealt with 261 clinical and non-clinical complaints in 2011. Wherever we are found to be at fault, a quality improvement plan is established. Additionally, staff members are mandated to report issues and, in March 2011, we introduced a software system, QUANTROS, to make reporting easy and accountable. Even the most prodigious hospitals worldwide have to address errors or failures of processes as part of their operations. The key is to ensure staff, patients and their families raise issues with us so we can investigate and address them fully. We know that we need to keep improving.”

Attachment 1: KEMH Patient Satisfaction Results

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