Skip to main content
On this page

About the Victorian Healthcare Experience Survey Program

The Victorian Health Experience Survey (VHES) program collects, analyses and reports feedback from recent users of Victorian public health services about their experience of care. This feedback is reported to Victorian public health services to inform local quality improvement initiatives and support a patient-centred approach to healthcare delivery.

Since 2014 the VHES program has been administered by Ipsos on behalf of VAHI and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The VHES program plays a key role in supporting our commitment to improve the experience of patients who use Victorian public health services. To date, over 400,000 Victorians have completed a VHES questionnaire. The information gathered through these questionnaires helps Victorian public health services, the Department of Health and Human Services and Safer Care Victoria (SCV) understand the aspects of care that are most important to patients. This information drives the delivery of patient-centred care and helps focus on improvements in areas where they are likely to have the greatest positive impact.

Approach to Market

VAHI is undertaking an approach to market to appoint a provider to administer the Victorian Healthcare Experience Survey (VHES) program from 2021.

The VHES request for Tender (RFT) is scheduled for release in August 2020, after it was postponed due to COVID-19. It is anticipated that a new survey administrator will be appointed in November, and that data collection will commence in early 2021.

During this period while the next survey administrator is appointed, there will be a short pause in data collection. The final results collected under the current program for 2019-20 are due for release in September 2020. These will appear in Victorian public health services’ Quarter 1 Performance Monitor reports and will form the basis for reporting against Statement of Priorities in 2020–21.

The existing VHES portal for Victorian public health services will remain accessible until the new arrangements are in place.

Program reforms

The expiry of the current VHES agreement present an opportunity to implement significant reforms to the VHES program to make it easier for health services to use data from the program to improve patient care.

VAHI will implement several changes to the program following the conclusion of the approach to market progress.

Transition to Electronic data collection

The VHES will transition to electronic data collection when the program recommences in early 2021, meaning that all surveys issued as part of the program will be done online. This will facilitate more timely feedback to Victorian public health services and enable VAHI and the Department of Health and Human Services to adapt the surveys in response to major events and changing priorities across the health system, including current COVID-19 pandemic.

The shift to electronic data collection will be phased over 2020-21, starting with the inpatient, emergency and maternity surveys, with Ambulance, Community Health, Specialist Clinic and Palliative Care Surveys to be implemented in the second phase. Some populations may continue to receive paper-based surveys for the first year of the new program.

As part of the transition, where needed, VAHI will also look to develop and implement targeted approaches for specific populations to ensure we are capturing the experience of all Victorian patients.

Survey redesign

VAHI has commenced work with stakeholders to redesign the VHES questionnaires in response to feedback from Victorian public health services and consumers regarding the length and utility of the current survey instruments.

The focus of the redesign is to ensure that the questions align with aspects of care that are most important to patients and support the provision of actionable insights to Victorian public health services. The reforms will also ensure that the survey is assessible for patients, including for culturally and linguistically diverse populations.

The new surveys will be implemented when data collection resumes in early 2021.

New COVID-19 surveys

VAHI is preparing to release a VHES COVID-19 module comprising two surveys to capture and report on patient experience during the pandemic. The new surveys are due for release in August.

The first survey includes adult inpatients, adult emergency patients and maternity patients who had an episode of care at a Victorian public health service between March and June 2020. This survey has been developed in partnership with the SCV and focuses on aspects of care that have been subject to patient complaint during the pandemic, including communication of care delays, changes to visiting arrangements, use of personal protective equipment and support for anxiety or concerns about COVID-19 while in hospital.

The second survey focuses on the use of telehealth during the pandemic and will include outpatients who had a telehealth consultation between March and June 2020. This survey has been adapted from a telehealth patient experience survey developed by the Royal Children’s Hospital and the Murdoch Institute and focuses on access and support to use telehealth, participation in care and communication with healthcare professionals, and patient preference of future telehealth consultations.

VAHI undertook a targeted consultation on the final surveys with Victorian public health services, consumers, SCV, DHHS and the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Behavioural Insights Unit.

For the first time survey results will available in near real-time with interim data refreshed weekly on the VHES portal. The final report is expected in October 2020. Victorian public health services will be updated on the release closer to the time.

More information

For more information about the VHES program please contact us at vhes@vahi.vic.gov.au.

Get in touch

Patient Experience and Outcomes
Victorian Agency for Health Information

Page last updated: 23 Jul 2020

Was this content helpful to you?