How we use your feedback to improve - Past stories

Speech Pathologists working with consumers:

Our Speech Pathologistschangedaypledge realised that consumers with communication difficulties (CWCD) didn’t always have the opportunity to provide feedback and Christine Stone, Associate Director Allied Health (Speech Pathology) and some of her team have made Change Day pledges and partnered with the Centre for Patient Experience to develop a strategy to raise awareness of CWCD and to find mechanisms to hear from them. This is essential for many compelling reasons. CWCD are:

  • Three times more likely to experience an avoidable adverse event
  • Routinely denied participation in their healthcare decision making
  • Routinely selected out of patient feedback opportunities– they simply have less of a voice than other healthcare consumers

What changes have been made?

  • Speech pathologists now conduct ward surveys with CWCD, as we know they are routinely excluded from this important data capture. This allows us to compare the experience of CWCD to other EH consumers and to learn from them. Adding their voice to the general database ensures it is more truly representative of our diverse patient population.
  • Senior speech pathologists support members of the senior leadership team to conduct leadership walkrounds with CWCD. Consequently, even patients dependent on an augmentative communication device have been able to ‘have their say’.
  • We have secured a seat at the Patient Experience of Care Expert Advisory Committee to ensure the needs of CWCD are raised.
  • We have developed a database of stories from CWCD and are filming another. These stories – positive and negative – are used at the commencement of meetings, in reports and as an educational tool.
  • We commence all our speech pathology meetings with a patient story of a CWCD.

We received the below feedback from a patient:

"This was my first time experience for an MRI. Instructions provided to find the facility were accurate and very good. The reception and introduction was very good and one would say 'caring' in nature. The explanation of the MRI machine, in particular the amount of noise was not well explained. As a first time experience it would have helped to hear a brief description of the different loud noises and that this experience is normal. Similarly there was no explanation of any possible side effects (or no expected side effects) for the MRI. The routine nature of the work and the attitude of the staff albeit 'caring' did portray its batch nature (unfortunately). After paying the account the challenge was to back track to the exit to find my way out (it was necessary to read signs pointing it the direction from where I had come). Following a coloured line maybe better."

The patient’s feedback was passed on to MIA, a private company providing MRI services at Box Hill Hospital. We have installed the below temporary signage and our CEO wrote back to this patient thanking him for his feedback. The patient has since visited the hospital and told us the signs work and wrote: “May I extend my gratitude and appreciation to the improvements but most importantly the opportunity and processes that Patient Opinion has provided for patient comments and for these improvements to occur. Respect for opinions expressed, notification of intended actions and demonstration of those actions is very positive and an excellent illustration of the hospital's commitment to continuous improvement. Thank you for listening and the opportunity to make an improvement.”



Barbecue brings better connections

A family barbecue initiative is bringing patients at Wantirna Health closer to their loved ones. Held once a month, patients are encouraged to invite family members to join them in the relaxed environment of Wantirna Health’s courtyard for a chat and barbecue lunch. Director of Nursing at Wantirna Health, Kathy Marshall, said the barbecue brings comfort to patients who may be missing home. “For our patients having a social lunch with family and fellow patients encourages bonding and helps assimilation into the ward,” Ms Marshall said.

“The initiative not only brings families together, but also gives patients a casual outdoor meal to make them feel more at home,” Ms Marshall said.

Ms Marshall said the initiative was just one example of Eastern Health’s commitment to patient and family centred care, with patients and families from Wantirna Health’s Geriatric Evaluation and Management ward and Palliative Care ward participating in the barbecue. “We are always looking for new ways to enhance the comfort of our patients and make their transition into hospital care as smooth as possible,” she said. “In fact, the idea of a barbecue lunch was suggested to us by one of our patients who missed his favourite meal. It really is the small pleasures in life that can make the biggest impact.”

 WH Patients and Family BBQ 003 website