It has been a busy start to 2021 for the Victorian Healthcare Experience Survey (VHES) program, with reforms to improve the timeliness and actionability of the program in full swing.
Approach to market for the next survey administrator
In January we received final submissions for the request for tender (RFT) to appoint the next survey administrator for the program, and the evaluation process is well underway. The evaluation panel is busy assessing the capabilities of each tenderer, including in relation to the transition to near real-time data collection and reporting, and collection of ward-level data.
Several health service representatives, a consumer representative, an expert statistician as well as an IT advisor are making important contributions to the tender evaluation process. We expect to appoint a survey administrator by May this year. There will be a staged return to patient experience data collection in 2021–22, following a short transition period. It is anticipated that the adult inpatient, adult emergency and maternity patient experience surveys will be implemented first, with other patient experience surveys thereafter.
Development of new VHES questionnaires
Work to redesign the VHES questionnaires is also continuing. The Core Question Set - which includes approximately 20 questions aligned to the Safer Care Victoria Partnering in Healthcare Framework - was finalised in December following input from over 150 stakeholders. Thank you to all the health service representatives and consumers who provided valuable feedback during the consultation period.
Consultation is now open for the Adult Inpatient, Adult Emergency, and Maternity survey modules. These modules will be administered alongside the Core Question Set. While the core questions are designed to address aspects of care relevant to all VHES patient categories, the VHES Adult Inpatient, Adult Emergency and Maternity modules will measure components specific to each of these settings and ensure that we address key aspects of experience unique to these patients.
All health service staff involved in uploading patient details, or who have access to results on the VHES portal, have been invited to provide feedback. There is no limit to how many people can respond from each health service – any additional health service staff wishing to respond can email VHES@vahi.vic.gov.au for access to the consultation survey. We would appreciate your support to encourage relevant staff to provide feedback and ensure that your health service has a say on the new VHES questionnaires. Act fast – consultation is open until 9 March 2021.
Patient experience data collection during the pandemic
The data collection for the Patient experience in COVID-19 survey is continuing throughout 2020–21. Routine patient experience data collection is on hold while a new VHES program survey administrator is being appointed.
Quarter 1 results, capturing the experience of adult inpatients, adult emergency patients and women using maternity services from July to September 2020 were released to Victorian public health services on the VHES results portal early last month. This release also includes patients tested for COVID-19, as well as a small number of patients treated for COVID-19, in health services. Quarter 2 results are scheduled for release in early March.
A very big thank you to all our stakeholders who have assisted VAHI with these reforms, through membership of an advisory group or by contributing to our consultation processes. We are excited to see the new VHES program start to take shape, and look forward to providing further updates in the coming months.
For further information about the VHES program of reforms, or the Patient experience in COVID-19 survey, please contact Anna Ezzy, Manager, Patient Experience at firstname.lastname@example.org.