Top 20 hospitals announced based on medical scheme patient experience survey

The patient survey scores show more hospitals are meeting higher patient-care standards.

Discovery Health patient survey scores (PaSS) for 2015 were released this week. Discovery Health collected data on South African hospitals from structured surveys conducted among adult members of medical schemes Discovery Health administers following their discharge from hospital. The hospital at the top of the list of 20 South African hospitals giving members the best experience in their quality of care is Gateway Private Hospital in Kwazulu-Natal. The Western Cape has a total of eight hospitals included in this list.

“Measuring quality of care is standard practice in many healthcare systems the world over. Our measurement and feedback on quality of care, combined with strategies that healthcare providers apply, have the potential to make a significant difference to healthcare delivery. We’ve already started seeing this in the latest survey results. There is greater awareness from healthcare providers regarding quality of care, and an additional 20 hospitals meet the criteria and were ranked highly by members of medical schemes, which is very encouraging,” says Head of Quality Care at Discovery Health Dr Roshini Moodley Naidoo

There has been a vast increase in the responses Discovery Health received around quality of care at hospitals through PaSS since 2013. Across all hospitals there have been gradual improvements in survey scores for nursing care and communication, and sharing medical information. Although scores for the hospital environment have not shown any significant change since 2010, hospitals are being rated up to 8% better than three years ago.

“Discovery Health congratulates hospitals that have demonstrated excellent scores, and those that have implemented initiatives to improve patient experience. Patient experience is an important component of care and has the potential to give our healthcare system a more patient-centred focus. Such healthcare systems aim to understand the needs of patients, to involve them in decisions about their care, and to respond quickly to their needs. Healthcare systems that place a high value on quality of care have shown to save costs and have improved health outcomes for patients,” says Moodley Naidoo.

But, she says, “There are many factors contributing to the delivery of care and a lower patient experience score does not necessarily mean hospitals do not deliver high-quality care.” It simply shows areas for improvement in the overall patient experience, which the hospital may already be addressing.

The Western Cape has the most hospitals included in the list. KwaZulu-Natal has four hospitals among the top 20 and Gauteng has five. In Gauteng, Cormed Clinic ranks the highest on patient experience around the quality of care. At number eight on the list is Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital (Rf) (Pty) Ltd and the North West Province has two hospitals, Sunningdale Hospital and Wilmed Park Private Hospital, included among the top 20 hospitals.

Hospitals are objectively measured on in-hospital healthcare service elements based on patients’ experience. Some of these elements include, responsiveness of hospital staff, how well pain was controlled, and the adequacy of discharge information during the hospital stay. To ensure any comparison of patient experience between hospitals is as fair as possible, the analysis of data considers factors that hospitals cannot reasonably control – such as the nature of illness and demographic factors such as age and gender.

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