Real-time patient feedback program at Western Sydney LHD nominated for Best Digital Transformation project

The successful implementation of Energesse’s ‘MES Experience’ real-time patient feedback platform at Western Sydney Local Health District earned a nomination as an Award Finalist for Best Digital Transformation project at Australian Healthcare Week.

This achievement comes after the patient survey program at Western Sydney Local Health District known as ‘My Experience Matters’ also won the Chairman’s Award and the Bob Leece Award at the Western Sydney District Quality Awards in 2017. Energesse is now implementing a second district-wide implementation at South Western Sydney Local Health District.

At Western Sydney LHD, the platform has now been rolled out across all major hospitals in the health district including Westmead, Blacktown, Mount Druitt and Auburn Hospitals. Key outcomes have included improved scores in the Friends and Family Test (now at 87%) and The Patient Experience District Wide Score which rose to 86% from 72%. Impactful and visible strategies have also been implemented using more detailed data on the patient experience. For example, an internal ward competition (the Ssshh! Challenge) aimed at reducing night-time noise helped staff improve this score by up to 19%.

The Energesse program has also seen similar accomplishments in the private sector. Genea, the 3rd largest chain of IVF clinics in Australia has seen a 15% improvement in their Net Promoter Score in their first year of implementation across their nationwide chain. The platform provided more granular depth in reporting on patient experience, which empowered front-line staff to make meaningful changes in their own units. The improvements to phone communication and targeted nurse training helped increased satisfaction in a sector with higher consumer expectations.

One of the key success factors for Energesse’ programs is the integrated delivery of a customisable IT platform with expert advisory and training capabilities. Dr Ratnanesan, CEO of Energesse stated “one the major reasons why Energesse has been successful with its IT implementations is its specialist consulting methodology to helps clients achieve outcomes and to continuously innovate on the solution’s user experience. This proprietary formula has helped our clients succeed in a challenging yet important priority in healthcare”.

The MES Experience solution provides real-time data to managers and front-line staff through patient surveys. In addition to quantitative data on patient experience, the platform also comes with a sophisticated PanSensic natural language processing algorithm. This AI tool analyses and translate free text into human emotions and automatically theme patient issues and concerns.  Highly useful data analytics on actionable root causes prove to be valuable in informing quality improvement initiatives for the front-line staff and managers. The tool received a High Commendation last week at the prestigious Health Service Journal Partnership Awards in the UK. In the future, the MES Experience platform is offering real-time staff surveys, providing significant synergies and cost savings to hospitals.


Jessica Evans, Project Officer in the Patient and Carer Experience Team at Western Sydney LHD will be delivering a presentation on the Western Sydney LHD implementation on 22nd March 4pm at the Australian Healthcare Week conference.

How to Integrate Digital Technology and the Patient Experience

Almost every technology vendor or platform provider in healthcare aims to be patient-centred or use the patient-centred term as a buzzword. Yet how do we really know that a platform is patient centred unless you actually ask a patient?

Patients don’t want technology, they want solutions to their problems. Often, I have found that in working with many healthcare organisations from hospitals to clinics to insurance companies, it is often assumed that we know what patients and consumers really want in their solutions. Yet, the truth is we often either do not ask the question or we don’t go deep enough into the emotional insights behind the needs and wants of patients. It is time to recognise that there is a two-tiered transformation occurring in health.

The first is a transformation occurring at a health system level – organisations like hospitals are trying to keep up with a pace of change that is unparalleled in the digital world yet struggling to meet those changes in an effective and coordinated manner.

The second change is a consumer-driven transformation – consumers are adopting Fitbits, wearables and internet of things at an extravagant pace yet often find themselves unable to either make sense of the data from these tools nor integrate them with the digital infrastructure of the health system (including hospital health records).

Whilst significant integration activities such as the international nationalisation of health records are taking place on the part of organisations (small organisations through to government agencies), some key elements need to be taken into consideration in the implementation of more human-centered approaches into IT:

  1. Selecting the right starting point: From a system redesign perspective, it is important to first start with mapping out the patient journey and outcomes you want to achieve relative to the patient journey. The mistakes some health IT professionals make in this space is starting with system architecture design rather than patient journey design.
  2. Don’t try to look at what we’ve got and make it better: Instead, let’s look at what experiences and outcomes consumers want to achieve and redesign the system to achieve those goals.
  3. Link data in the journey, not systems: Instead of trying to link data between systems, think about linking the data between different points of the patient journey to improve the experience, insights and outcomes for patients on those points of the journey.
  4. Consider the patient’s entire eco-system: Aim for a future state where we can create mass behavioural personalisation within each technology system, so the lack of integration is not even noticed. Here’s what I mean by this. As the world of technology moves on, systems become more fragmented with multiple different devices and software tools that cater to various different niches. This then creates a challenge for the consumer in terms of integrating it with all the other technology they utilise. For example, a type 2 diabetic patient might have their own application (or app) for dealing with complications such as ulcers. While incredibly useful for the patient, he or she is challenged as to how to integrate it with all the other health apps, tools or software that he or she utilises. Solution vendors are often more vested in getting initial uptake and design their solutions with a very niche and siloed purpose. They care less about integrating it with other solutions within that patient’s technology ecosystem and environment. In the case of type 2 diabetic patient – if a more user-centred approach to systems is undertaken, the focus would be in mapping out the patient journey and ecosystem of technologies that surround that diabetic patient in order to make the entire experience as meaningful as possible.
  5. Health practitioner’s needs what consumer’s value. This final point is really a summarisation of the above. Once you’ve created a solution (ideally using a lean start-up approach), it is important to combine that with an evidence-based approach in terms of features and functionalities that are most appropriate for that diabetic patient. Remember that what health practitioners value in terms of the data collected is not always equivalent to what consumers value in the utilisation of a technology solution. Hence, we need to find the right balance or formula

Ideally, as the health system continues to bridge the gap between health professionals, organisations and consumers, we integrate the requirements from these various stakeholders and truly create patient-centred adoption of solutions that are aligned with organisational strategy, quality and safety objectives and patient experience key performance indicators (KPIs).

If you’d like to have chat with me about your thoughts on the digital patient experience, feel free to reach out to


What to do about ‘Internet’ Health? – A Tip on Execution

Just yesterday, I delivered a 6E Patient Experience Training Workshop at Sydney Children’s Hospital Network (SCHN). We had fantastic engagement with each of the 6Es – Experience, Emotions, Engagement, Execution, Excellence and Evolution. This step-by-step guide to implementing patient experience improvements and the 4th E, gave the clinicians very practical tips on how to execute. Here’s one.

Patients can ask clinicians a myriad of questions and can present a range of behaviours, based on their background, circumstances and their interaction with health information. With the latter, Dr Google is often their personal, trusted friend. So how do we manage ‘Internet Health’?

I interviewed e-patient Dave at a Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) talk a few months ago, who had an interesting opinion about prescribing the internet. His key message was that while using the internet for information was perfectly fine, it was important that patients validate the information by talking to their doctors and other patients. Urging patients to talk about what they have found online will encourage ongoing validation, honest discussions and confident involvement in health decisions and treatment. Ultimately, a better patient experience is delivered.

Watch my interview below for Dave’s perspective…

If you are interested in 6E training or further tips for your clinicians in executing patient experience, don’t hesitate to give us a call.


Breaking News! Winner of the Energesse Patient Experience Awards

We are thrilled to announce the winner of the Energesse Patient Experience Award (Asia)…

Bagan Specialist Centre (BSC) in Penang, Malaysia

Here’s a bit of background on their journey….

In August 2017, Energesse undertook a two-day 6E training session for 30 different public and private hospitals in Malaysia. After the training session, the participants were challenged with planning, developing and implementing a patient experience improvement initiative in their settings, using Energesse’s 6E Framework. In the 3 months following the training, Bagan Specialist Centre engaged the 6Es – Experience, Emotions, Engagement, Execution, Excellence, Evolution – in the improvement of the patient experience in Food Services.

We travelled to Penang to present the award to them and saw first-hand the improvement BSC Food Services made to provide healthy food on-the-go to patients during the temporary closure of their cafeteria. They initiated the improvement after measuring patient Experience and Emotions regarding lack of dining options (which was negatively affecting patients’ experience at wait times). Staff Engagement at team departmental meetings resulted in ideas to address the issue. Execution of the solution involved transforming an old abandoned trolley into a mobile food cart offering a variety of nutritious meals. It was wheeled around the hospital outpatient and inpatient units by food services staff. BSC achieved Excellence when they saw a 10.2% decrease in the amount of feedback and an average patient satisfaction score of 3.5 which exceeded the hospital’s target rating of 3.0. In a bid to see constant Evolution of their solution, monthly analysis of the sales of food items and food costs were performed to ensure that mobile food cart items offered to BSC patients and visitors were culturally appropriate and sustainable.

Here are some pics from the Training and Award presentation… 

Congratulations Bagan Specialist Centre!

Watch this space for the Australian winner of the Energesse Patient Experience Award…

If you want to find out more about how the 6E Framework can help you with your patient experience initiatives, talk to us!

The Energesse Patient Experience Awards is an award established to recognise the efforts of a health setting in improving the patient experience through the utilisation of the Energesse 6E Framework. The judging panel for the Award was made up of Dr Avi Ratnanesan (CEO, Energesse), Michael Greco (CEO, Patient Opinion Australia), Simon Kimber (MES UK), Nick Goodman (MES UK), Ashok Rudy (Director, Energesse Malaysia) and Kiran Nair (Research Manager, Energesse).


A Patient Story to Inspire You Today…

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you’ve come back refreshed from the holidays and ready to start the year off with a bang! Here’s an inspirational story to help you – with your New Year resolutions, your own personal health or your understanding of the patients and consumers you encounter everyday.

I met Alana Henderson, a patient advocate, at a HISA talk late last year. A woman who had a stroke at the age of 59 (not to mention diabetes and cancer) who changed her life by project managing her health like an engineer. Find out more about how she transitioned out of her dire health circumstances (for less than AUD$300!) through her book ‘Out of the Fog’ (available on Amazon) OR watch the interview below now…

Alana’s key message to practitioners and providers is to ‘not be afraid of what patients do for themselves’. Support the involvement they have in their own care and you can be assured of delivering a meaningful patient experience.

Talk to us now if you are thinking of spearheading initiatives this year around just that! We’ve all the advice, support, training or technology you might need.


5 Tips to Up the Patient Experience When You’re Down on Staff

Christmas is upon us! If you’re like us, you’re probably thinking ‘Where did the year go?’ and if you’re in a high-pressured health environment, your second most immediate thought is ‘How are we going to cope with skeleton staff this season?!’

    1. Here are some ideas on how to maintain patient experience during the silly (and scary) season:Ensuring clear communication with patients. If waiting times are going to be longer, ensure the patient is informed of this, and is updated on the wait time frequently. The ‘why’ is important – perhaps the doctor had to deliver some bad news to a family or staff are away. Be specific if the patient won’t be called in before a certain time.
    2. Make wait areas comfortable. Stock up on the magazines, provide complimentary coffee and tea, make sure the wifi is working or provide TV entertainment. This can go a long way in optimizing patient satisfaction even when the wait time is not ideal.1
    3. Ensure busy staff are not giving off ‘cues of indifference’. Here are some examples:
      • Healthcare professionals avoiding eye contact with “civilians.” Med students hurrying self-importantly down the halls, nearly running down the slow-moving patients who won’t get with the program. Patients ignored by nurses who haven’t yet clocked in and therefore don’t realize they are already (poorly) representing their institution. Doctors in the hallway loudly carrying on about the relative benefits of different vacations they’ve taken. Two radios playing at once from two administrative areas (with the waiting area for patients and their families located equidistant to both). Vending machines that are left out of service indefinitely. Vending machines that require exact change, but there’s no change machine.
    4. Empathy and communication in busy wards. Continue to bring up patient experience survey outcomes at morning staff huddles, motivate staff with small rewards and comments of appreciation to ensure they are still focused on communicating and caring for patients with empathy, even during periods when the ward is short-staffed.Get help! If patient experience measurement is just adding to ward workloads – consider using volunteers to survey patients or automate your patient experience measurement.

We’ve first hand experience with helping health settings do this so just ask us!



1. patient-wait-times

2. icahsolomon/2015/01/11/8-ways- to-improve-patient-satisfactio n-and-patient-experience-and- by-the-way-improve-hcahps- scores/#6452bf4d5191


Do You Know How Staff Engagement Impacts the Patient Experience?

I delivered a Consumer Engagement Training Workshop in Perth in collaboration with the Health Consumer Council (HCC) just a few days ago. Over 40 staff representing the Ministry of Health, hospitals, healthcare providers, managers, clinicians, and consumers attended the workshop. Taking them through the 6 E framework, I showed them how they could make an impact on health services in their roles as “champions”.

What was most interesting was the number of questions about staff engagement and staff satisfaction surveys. The most important point to emphasise here is that staff engagement and patient experience are not two separate elements. One directly impacts the other and therein lies Bodenheimer’s justification for the Quadruple Aims (not Triple Aims).

Estimates for the prevalence of burnout range from 10%–70% among nurses and 30%–50% among physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants…burnout is viewed as a threat to patient safety because depersonalization is presumed to result in poorer interactions with patients. 1

I reflected on this at a recent break in Byron Bay – watch this video for further clarity around staff engagement…

In mentoring staff who are performing well, it is important to identify when they need a break. Getting a better understanding of what drives each individual team member allows you, as a leader or manager, to identify when they might burn-out.

An ANNUAL staff survey may not be sufficiently sensitive to get to the bottom of key staff issues. Organizations are starting to think about how they can move to a more real-time approach in order to respond to staff concerns more promptly.

The free text comments also help you pinpoint the root cause of staff issues. Illustrative examples:

“My manager has been very supportive but lately she has been overworked and unable to give me the time and advice I need – I wish there was someone else to speak to”

“I noticed that the communication on this ward is very poor compared to my previous one which was very friendly. The two managers would benefit from some sharing”

As a leader, it is equally important to be accountable for your own health and mental health. You might feel that you are performing well, but a quick survey of feedback from staff around you might prove otherwise.

Join other leaders who are innovating on their patient experience and are learning how to survey and impact staff engagement through the MES Platform.

Feel free to call me on 02 8091 0918 if you want to find out more about the MES staff satisfaction survey capability.




4 Learnings from the IHI On Culture Change

I had the pleasure of attending the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and BMJ International’s Forum on Quality and Safety in Kuala Lumpur recently. It was a FANTASTIC two days and I learnt a great deal about the integration of patient experience and quality and safety. There was a sterling line up of speakers including Don Berwick, Helen Beavan and industry CEOs who are known change-makers in the industry.

Changing organisational culture is CORE to quality, safety and patient experience initiatives. The IHI Forum certainly drove this home – watch this video to find out more…

Learning 1: Culture change is not just about getting great data but changing the mindsets, leadership, and capturing the hearts and minds of staff and CEOs.

Learning 2: Find out about your patients and communities by listening to 7 stories that they tell. Analyzing these 7 stories can tell you a lot about the major issues in your organization.

Here’s more about the #7stories – IHI CEO, Derek Fealy

Learning 3: When it comes to the patient experience, the technical delivery of medical expertise, health analytics and medications are secondary to staff communication and their teamwork in relation to the patient’s care. Patients and their caregivers are privy to and highly value their overall interactions and care from staff.

Learning 4: Enable social action. Enable and empower staff to create communities of champions within themselves. These communities could be formal or informal and will start to create and drive change in the organisation, similar to a micro-movement.

Do use some of these ideas and let me know how you go with motivating and inspiring staff in your journey toward improved patient experience and culture change. If you have been experiencing specific challenges in engaging staff, call me for a chat on +61 2 8091 0918 or via email.

Reward and Recognise Patient Experience Champions

Western Sydney’s win of the Bob Leece Award at the recent Quality Awards, is a great way to recognise those involved in transforming the patient experience in Australia. Watch this video below about the My Experience Matters Survey and the Patient and Carer Experience Team that led the way…

These awards inspire and motivate staff to continue on in their journey of experience improvement but it is not the only way of recognising staff who are making a change in an organisation. Here are 5 simple ways to celebrate staff:

  1. Recognise them at team meetings – put their names on the agenda as a key item and hand out a simple reward. The Trinity Health System in the US managed to pin-point ‘simple’ rewards by asking staff what their favourite candy bars were in a motivational assessment survey. 1
  2. Match the reward to the achievement. For a smaller achievement, managers or the executive could send a thank-you note. For a high-performing staff, link these notes of appreciation to their annual performance appraisal, as was part of a Reward and Recognition program in the US.1
  3. Involve patients in celebrating a staff member or awarding a patient experience ‘badge’. The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust UK launched a reward scheme last year that saw patients themselves award badges to staff for standout examples of quality care.3
  4. Getting colleagues to recognise each other’s efforts. A hospital in Pennsylvania mounted a ‘Caught You Caring’ initiative to reinforce extraordinary customer service behaviours through peer recognition. They found that asking employees to recognize and document acts of extraordinary customer service had a twofold effect: increased attention to the contributions of co-workers, along with enhanced collaboration and teamwork.2
  5. An ‘I appreciate what you’re doing’ conversation as you pass a staff member in the corridor does wonder for staff esteem. 🙂





Recognising staff is very much a part of the third E (ENGAGEMENT) in our 6E framework – a holistic guide to improving patient experience in a health setting. If you want to find out more about how the 6Es can help you transform staff culture and patient experience, just call or email us.

Western Sydney Patient Experience Program wins 2 Awards!

Every year, Western Sydney LHD hosts the Quality Awards to recognise people and projects within their hospitals, wards, and units that make a difference to patient care and health outcomes. There were 79 submissions this year and ‘Patient Feedback – online, real-time, anytime’ were winners twice over at this prestigious event!

WSLHD’s My Experience Matters won their category – the Bob Leece Award and then went on to scoop one of the top awards of the night – the Chair of the Board’s Award! We are thrilled and commend their strong and determined efforts in improving patient experience LHD-wide.

Here’s how they got there:

  1.    An LHD that that identified gaps in their patient experience measurement and a solution to address it
  2.    Implemented an Australian-first real-time survey at Westmead and Auburn hospitals
  3.    Achieved more than 1300 surveys responses (from 100) and is transparent about how patients rate them!
  4.   Engaged staff from the frontline to executive through discussions and then celebrations!
  5.   Transforming patient experience daily – one banging door, one engaged team, one ward, one hospital at a time…

Some of the winning projects on the night are now being submitted to the NSW Health Innovation Awards and the NSW Premier’s Awards. Watch this space!

Congratulations to the team!

P/S: We’d also like to do a special shout-out to the maternity ward of Auburn Hospital AND the surgical high-dependency ward in Westmead who won the ‘Noise at Night’ challenge recently. Read more here

Want to improve just one aspect of your patient experience measurement or make a series of incremental improvements? Give us a call…