Hospital News November Edition 2014

Page 43


Focus 27

Yukon hospitals launch patient experience survey at the bedside By James Low

ith a few taps of a finger, patients at Yukon hospitals will be among the first in Canada to use tablet computers to provide feedback about their care. But what makes this patient experience survey even more unique is that it’s delivered by nursing staff and liaisons from Yukon’s First Nations Health Program at the bedside, just before discharge from hospital.


The tablet with the survey is secured to a customized IV pole, which can be easily wheeled from one bed (or treatment space) to the next. “Each day our team is focused on safe and excellent care and how our patients feel about their care is very important to us,” says Maureen Turner, Executive Director of Patient Experience at Yukon Hospital Corporation, which oversees the three acute care hospitals in the territory. “Asking about their experience – from the cleanliness of our facilities to the responsiveness of our care – is a key part of our

care and continuous improvement efforts.” The tablet with the survey is secured to a customized IV pole, which can be easily wheeled from one bed (or treatment space) to the next. Using the touchscreen device, patients answer 10 short questions related to their overall hospital experience with an option to participate in an additional, more detailed survey at a later date. Previously, a traditional, paper-based survey was mailed to patients after a hospital stay. In many cases, feedback would be reported back months after discharge. However, the tablet has cut this time significantly with results now available on a rolling monthly basis. Turner adds that a number of survey options were considered, but a tablet made the most sense given the benefits to patients and staff. “When the hospital experience is so close-at-hand, a point-of-care survey collects the most relevant feedback and offers timely information, so we can act quickly on what our patients tell us,” she says. “This approach also gives our direct care providers more opportunity to connect with patients and start a conversation about their experience.” The survey started as a pilot project in the inpatient units at Whitehorse General

Sean Secord, Clinical Care Manager at Whitehorse General Hospital, presents a new patient survey on a tablet computer. The mobile technology is being used at the point-of-care to help Yukon hospitals measure the patient experience. Hospital, which is a 55-bed facility and Yukon’s primary acute care centre. This was enabled by the recent launch of a facilitywide wireless internet service, which was made possible through support from the Yukon Hospital Foundation. The tablet survey has now been introduced to WGH’s emergency department with plans to roll out to outpatient service areas as well as the community hospitals in Dawson City and Watson Lake. The hospitals are working with an independent, third-party provider to manage the survey and ensure patient feedback is kept anonymous and confidential. Preliminary results have been very positive in terms of patient participation and

overall high satisfaction with hospital care. Jason Bilsky, the hospital corporation’s CEO, notes that both nursing staff and patients have been excited to take part. “Patients are eager to tell us about their experience. This is great news because we want them to be engaged and involved in their care,” he says. “Like many health care facilities across the country, we continuously look at a number of measures to ensure we provide a high standard of care, and we recognize as care providers, that it’s essential to know if we’re also meeting needs and H expectations.” n James Low is Communications Manager at the Yukon Hospital Corporation.

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