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.

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!

 

Source:

1.      http://blog.evisit.com/reduce- patient-wait-times

2.      https://www.forbes.com/sites/m 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.

 

Source:

1 https://psnet.ahrq.gov/perspectives/perspective/190/burnout-among-health-professionals-and-its-effect-on-patient-safety

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. 🙂

Sources:

1http://education.healthcaresource.com/employee-recognition-5-ways-to-satisfy-staff-patients/

2http://www.healthstream.com/resources/blog/blog/2014/12/08/best-practices-for-healthcare-rewards-and-recognition

3https://www.nursingtimes.net/roles/nurse-managers/patients-given-badges-to-reward-quality-nursing/7001586.article

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.

A Conversation on Patient Experience – Lessons and Case Studies

Patient Centered Care and Patient Engagement are fast becoming buzzwords in healthcare, particularly as the belts continue to tighten and health institutions choose to invest in things that really matter.

As a leading firm that specialises in the field of patient experience and health innovation, we at Energesse decided to launch a Patient Experience Channel, to complement the Patient Experience Australia LinkedIn Group that launched in 2015.

Both initiatives were driven by the need for Australian healthcare professionals to connect, communicate and educate each other on how to diagnose, improve and monitor patient experience. They also provide very practical tips based on learnings and strategies implemented by practitioners around Australia and overseas.

For this first episode of the Patient Experience Channel, I had a conversation with Bernadette Brady, consultant and trainer with PartneringwithPatients. Bernadette and I are highly passionate about helping hospital and healthcare implement simple measures to transform healthcare to the way it should be – thinking about patients first.

In summary, some of the key learnings we highlighted are:

1. Enable patients to take control of their care and be in charge – ask them how they would like to be treated e.g. times they would want to be seen in hospital.

2. Clinicians should change from a ‘to’ mentality, to a ‘with’ mentality, when it comes to treatment program

3. Committees with patient representatives should have at least two of them on it, to ensure voices are heard

4. Learn to manage risk with patient choices – e.g. allowing early discharge from hospital even if there is a risk to patient staying at home – manage that.

5. The most effective solutions to transform care are simple – Every clinician should introduce themselves first. And always SMILE (when appropriate).

6. Celebrate success in Safety and Quality (rather than just focusing on negative events).

7. Consider the SECOND VICTIM ie. clinicians may need care and some protection too, especially when a bad experience occurs.

8. Know the difference between treating the disease and treating the person, the latter should come first.

9. Walk through the wards as if you were a patient one day – how does it feel and what observations about your environment have you made?

I’d love to hear your feedback on Episode 1 – content, length, quality, etc – what other topics around Patient Care would you like to hear about? Are there any experts in this field you’d like to hear from? Let me know and we’ll see what we can do to serve you…

Empowering Health Journeys by improving Patient Experience (PX)

Improving the Patient Experience or ‘PX’ is becoming an increasingly important objective and metric in our hospitals. While this concept has taken a while to catch on in Australia (compared to countries like the UK), it is encouraging that it is part of many hospitals’ accreditation process these days. Some health CEO’s have stated that a closer eye on PX acts as an ‘early warning system’ to pick up underlying quality and safety issues that may be occurring.

As a parallel story, my 3 years developing start-ups in the technology industry enlightened me to the tech industry’s an absolute obsession with User Experience (UX). A successful technology platform has to be so customer focussed and understand a user’s behaviour in such detail, that it could predict the next 10-20 moves of customer journey and make it as pleasant and effortless as possible, so they don’t have to choose any other option.

Google staff used to say “Remember, our competitor is just one click away”, referring to the ease in which someone could make a choice to switch service if they were dissatisfied. I believe this attitude, combined with data analytics capability, will make Google and Apple major health players in the future, once they understand how traditional health systems work.

How would a strong discipline of improving PX help the health and wellbeing of all Australians?

Like in any system, consumers that are more empowered are more likely to push improvements in the system. In the case of healthcare, particularly in the public sector, users (i.e. patients) may not always have a choice as to which doctor, nurse or specialist they see. This occasional lack of choice therefore disempowers individuals who are then not incentivised to drive innovation in the system.

If that psychology around ‘walking in a patient’s shoes’, empowering them with choices and improving PX can be harnessed, today’s predictive analytics and technology could easily modify behaviours that result in reduced obesity, diabetes and other chronic conditions, simply by making it as effortless and pleasant as possible to do so. These technologies, like the Fitbit for individuals and MES Experience, a digital patient survey platform for hospitals, can analyse feedback data quickly so changes can be made rapidly.

If you’d like to learn more on ways to empower consumers and improve experience in the health journey, you may have received the invitation last week for the breakfast event called Building a Sustainable, Patient-Centred Healthcare System on Aug 11, 2015, 7.30 AM to 10.30 PM (AEST) | Sydney.  Please join us if you are available, or feel free to pass on this invitation to your colleagues in healthcare. Click here to REGISTER

10 Insights for Sustainable Healthcare in Australia from Sir Robert Naylor

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Sir Robert Naylor and Avi

At a recent conference hosted by the Health Services Innovation group in Tasmania, I had the privilege of engaging with a few leading CEOs and researchers in healthcare. Whilst there were many highlights, Sir Robert Naylor, the CEO of  University College London Hospitals (UCLH) was outstanding in his insights.

UCLH has been ranked the 4th highest performing NHS Trust in the UK and a large part of that is due to its clinical and executive management approaches.

A few key points that he made:

1.  Payors in the UK i.e. government funding authorities are increasingly wanting to pay for value, rather than activity. This sentiment has been echoed in Australia as we are placing more thought on how Medicare can move toward a model of payment for outcomes, rather than activities.

2.  Providers need to focus on ‘transformation’ rather than ‘translation’. Sir Robert suggested that there is a need to form integrated systems along pathways; in order to this incremental changes is no longer good enough and patient pathways have to be viewed and changed as a whole.

3.  It is imperative to engage patients as active partners in their care. “Doctors need to change from being God to Guide”. We need to change the current archetypal image so patients have more ability to take responsibility for their care.

4.  Integration would be improve outcomes and reduce costs. The word “integration” is used often, but the word means different things to different stakeholders

5.  Sustainability is the “nirvana” that we are looking to achieve. In the UK, the healthcare system has 8% reduction in funding next year due to a “Cost improvement program”, while in Australia, stakeholders are complaining about 4% growth.

6.  Consumers and the public trust doctors, hence Sir Robert feels that we have to get the clinicians to communicate with the community. People want a good relationship with their GP, and GPs that understand patient’s concerns.

7.  He also encourages more clinical leadership in executive teams and encourages them to train in business and management skills. His Medical Directors manage the money, the people and the quality or care.

8.   Sir Robert observed that Australia is 5 years behind the UK in terms of the performance data currently published, which is not sufficiently meaningful for real change. Publishing league tables is good for improving transparency and performance; at UCLH they publish mortality rates down to doctor level. The 2013 Francis Report on failings in Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust was a largely due to a lack of transparency – this is why league tables are very useful.

9.   The top priorities at UCLH are Patient Quality which includes:

·         Patient outcomes (is it going to make me better),

·         Patient Safety (is it safe for me),

·         Patient Experience (compliments/complaints)

NHS

These top priorities are put up on whiteboards on each ward, with top metrics updated daily e.g.. staff levels, infections rates. Each of his 9000 staff need to have these translated in a way that is meaningful to them, including janitorial staff.

10.  In terms of current thinking on innovation in the UK, a 5 year forward review by Simon Stevens suggested

  • Radical upgrade in prevention and public health
  • Break down barriers between GPs and public hospitals
  • New models of integrated care (Dalton Review)
  • Re-design emergency and urgent care

Sir Robert recommends tertiary health centers should focus only in a couple of areas of expertise where possible as it improves outcomes e.g. Cancer and Neurosciences. This is to establish critical mass, and involved UCLH giving up cardiac patients to other centres, but will dramatically improve mortality rates and build capability. He admires the Dutch system where they selected only 8 hospitals to treat complex chronic disease patients. Centralising services like stroke services has reduced mortality by 50%.

Wellness Bloggers and the Gaps in the Health System

I was approached by an ECU Daily journalist a couple of weeks ago in regards to the Popularity of controversial Wellness bloggers like Belle Gibson is a side-effect of major gaps in health system.

See below some insights I shared with Danielle Austin of ECU Daily:

How should Consumers approach Wellness Information on the internet?

  • Consumers should exercise a degree of care when looking for wellness information online. Whilst this is the predominant method of research for the vast majority of people these days, it is much harder to make a distinction on ‘what’s right for them’.

Where should people seek their medical information and how can they be sure that health information they read on the internet is not fraudulent?

  • Depends on the type of health information they are looking for. If due to a medical illness, they should consult their doctor or qualified health professional
  • Do research online to see if the website is supported by such institutions or purely commercial interests.
  • A good example of a credible site would be the Betterhealthchannel.vic.gov.au, which was created by the Victorian government. However, the user-friendliness of design and content could be improved significantly, and this is where a lot of credible sites are managing poorly. Consumers then take to other more ‘attractive’ sites by celebrities and big brands.

How should consumers approach celebrity endorsed diets/ health claims (e.g. Pete Evans Paleo for babies)?

  • Celebrities are entitled to their opinion on what products and services they wish to recommend. However, consumers should do a check that the health results are verified by independent scientific bodies, which determines the validity of those claims. Every person is an individual with individual needs in terms of diet, exercise, mental, social and environmental needs. They should consult qualified health professionals if they have specific health needs. They should also listen to their bodies in terms of any concerning symptoms, and consult a health professional.

How can cancer patients, and patients of other illnesses, find wellness programs to support them without giving them false medical information?

  • Patients with severe illness should ask their doctor, hospital or qualified health professional about wellness programs that are right for them. Some hospitals such as the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse (affiliated with RPA) and Olivia Newton John Cancer Wellness centre in Melbourne (Austin Health), all are affiliated with hospitals.
  • In Perth there is the Solaris Care Centre which has provided good quality wellness care. They all have a good track record or providing care, support ongoing research and are affiliated with medical professionals in some way.

Read the full ECU Daily article here

How about you, what are your thoughts on this topic? Do share your comments and suggestions with me and the Energesse wellness community. I look forward to hearing from you.

Medicare Review by Minister Ley needs to remove ‘Vicious Cycle’ of healthcare politics

Ministers Ley’s recently announced review of Medicare has largely been welcomed, however it remains to be seen whether it will dig ‘deep enough’. A multidisciplinary review of Federal Government payment mechanism is warranted as the current ‘fee-for-service’ model incentivises ‘doing as much as possible, for as many as possible’. This can lead to inappropriate testing, procedures, financial waste and even potential harm. A new strategy is required to break the cycle of rising costs, as demonstrated in the Future Solutions in Australian Healthcare White Paper, which interviewed 21 leading health experts on how to reform the health system. ‘Out of the box’ strategies included delinking healthcare spending from political intervention, such as with the Reserve Bank and interest rates.

Read the full article from The Australian