In August, VAHI partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services and Safer Care Victoria (SCV) to run our first patient experience forum with the community health sector. The forum followed the success of our patient experience roadshow with Victorian public health services in 2018.
The forum brought together members of the community health sector to discuss patient experience and share their learnings from three years of participating in the program. Participants heard about the changes planned for the patient experience program over the next 12–18 months, the Department’s pending response to the VAGO audit of community health services and the new quality account guidelines released by SCV. Over 50 representatives from community health services attended.
Discussion of the 2018 VHES survey results focused on areas of variation across the sector, which were highlighted by the recent Community Health Insight report released on the Victorian Health Experiences Survey (VHES) portal. Analysis in the report demonstrates a high degree of variation in areas related to planning and goal setting, and an opportunity for the sector to learn from services that are currently doing these things well.
A key theme at the forum was client engagement. Representatives from many services reported that it is hard to engage clients in the survey, which is reflected in response rates for the survey across the state. Services that have successfully increased participation in the VHES program shared some of the strategies that have boosted their response rates. These include using consumer representatives and patient experience champions to engage clients as well as feeding back results to clients.
Lorraine Donaldson from East Wimmera Health Service found the forum very useful to gain ideas for her own service. ‘Ideas from other services on how we can improve our VHES Community Health data collection and reporting to the public were very valuable,’ she said.
VAHI would like to thank all the services who participated in the forum this year. If you missed out and would like to learn more, please contact Anna Ezzy, Manager, Patient Experience and Outcomes, via email@example.com.