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Seeds of Change from the Patient Experience and Choice Conference 2016 (Part 1)

On the 10th and 11th of October 2016, the seeds of change were sown in Australian healthcare, particularly in relation to improving patient experience and choice. Energesse came on as knowledge partner to support AventEdge, an event organizer that held a 2-day pioneering conference on how to improve Australian healthcare for all Australians.

The event attracted a small group of determined stakeholders from not only Australia, but as far as Malaysia and the UK. I was proud to chair the conference and open the stage for our international keynote speaker, David McNally, who is the Head of the Experience of Care for NHS England.

David reiterated the definition of patient experience from the Beryl Institute which is ‘the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care’. He talked about the work of Dr Kate Granger in the UK, a doctor who became a patient herself and began the ‘Hello, My Name Is…’ Campaign – a campaign which encouraged health practitioners to introduce themselves before touching or communicating with a patient. It was a simple lesson yet such a powerful element of what we miss when we take our jobs for granted in healthcare.

He reemphasized Dr Kate Granger’s words which were:

“I firmly believe that it is not just about knowing someone’s name but it runs much deeper.  It is about making a human connection beginning a therapeutic relationship and building trust. In my mind, it is the first rung on the ladder to providing compassionate care.”

That perspective led to significant initiatives and effort within the NHS – one of which was that patient and carer partnerships would focus on four elements, particularly:

·         Improving the experience of care

·         Professional education

·         Service design and redesign

·         Quality design, improvement and checking

The following speaker was Michael Krieg, the CEO of St John of God Ballarat Hospital who talked about building internal capability and training his internal staff to be able to improve patient experience and work on projects themselves.

Beth Masling related her own story from the Western NSW Local Health District about when she met with an accident and became a patient herself at her own hospital. Her key points were to continue to help people connect with the WHY in their lives: WHY did they enter the profession of healthcare and how important it is to translate the statistics that healthcare practitioners look at everyday into what it means for an individual person.

These messages really resonated with me particularly in the work that we do to coach practitioners in this space.

Do you feel that our workforce and practitioners in healthcare are clear on their purpose?

About the Author: Dr Avnesh Ratnanesan

Dr Avi is a medical doctor with broad healthcare sector experience including hospitals, biotech, pharmaceuticals and the wellness industry. He is a leading expert who coaches and consults to senior executives, entrepreneurs, practitioners, organisations and governments.