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Posted on 11 Dec 2019

This month, VAHI is making changes to the way we report patient comments collected through the Victorian Healthcare Experience Survey (VHES) program. This will provide Victorian public health services with timelier patient feedback.

These changes complement broader VHES reforms that we expect to implement under the new survey contract from July 2020. A statewide tender for a new VHES survey administrator is currently underway.

The VHES program surveys recent users of Victorian public health services to collect patient experience information. VHES questionnaires contain two or three open-ended questions, which enable patients to provide responses in their own words. Answers to these questions are reported as patient comments.

Until this month, patient comments were provided to a single representative at each Victorian public health service at the end of each reporting quarter. Analysis of comment themes was also presented to all VHES results portal users with each quarterly or annual results’ release.

The current arrangements create a significant time lag between the patient’s experience and feedback to the health service. Victorian public health services have told VAHI that this makes it difficult for them to act on feedback in an effective way.  

From mid-December, comments will be made available for Victorian public health services to download as feedback is received. This will enable health services to identify aspects of service delivery that are being raised by patients and allow them to monitor the impact of any quality improvement initiatives in a timely fashion. To enable these changes, thematic analysis of patient comments will no longer be reported via the VHES results portal.

Nominated Victorian public health service representatives who have access to the VHES Project Control Portal (used to upload patient details) will be able to view their patient comments by logging in from 16 December.

Future changes scheduled for 2020 will enable Project Control Portal users to flag comments that they deem to warrant review or that require a letter to be mailed to the patient with details on how to submit a formal complaint. This capability allows health services to flag cases for review when they feel the wellbeing of the patient or another person is compromised. It will also allow services to ensure that patients are provided the information necessary to direct their complaint to the appropriate organisation for follow up, if needed.

If you would like to enquire about access to the VHES Project Control Portal to view patient comments for your Victorian public health service, please contact vhes@vahi.vic.gov.au.

Page last updated: 12 Dec 2019