Valuing the voice of people in primary care

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) believes that the voice of people receiving primary care is critical to inform the continuous quality improvement of services and broader systems change.

WAPHA has partnered with Patient Opinion as one strategy to promote the value of feedback from service users and is pleased to offer free subscriptions to Patient Opinion for WAPHA funded services.

Complete the subscription form below or speak to Jane Harwood (Program Lead – Community Engagement) on 62724948 for more information about how to get a WAPHA funded service subscription to Patient Opinion.

What is Patient Opinion?

Patient Opinion is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to help improve health services by providing a platform to enable dialogue between service users and health service providers.  It does this by providing a website where the public can share their experiences of health services.

Members of the public anonymously post a story (positive or negative) about a service on the website www.patientopinon.org.au The Patient Opinion team moderates all stories to ensure they do not identify any single member of staff and escalates any that need to be responded to through a formal complaints procedure.

Why Patient Opinion?

Patient Opinion supports part of the spectrum of patient experience feedback and monitoring. It is widely used in the UK and has been adopted by WA Country Health and East Metro Area Health Services as part of their commitment to creating a quality health care experience for every consumer. There is a strong indication from the McGowan Government that Patient Opinion will be introduced in all WA hospitals.

WAPHA sees Patient Opinion as an enabler to good consumer feedback practice, supporting a culture in the healthcare system that welcomes and acknowledges feedback – both praise and where there are opportunities for improvement.

Patient Opinion can be a starting point for organisations who do not have established feedback systems or be an addition to more sophisticated and comprehensive approaches to monitoring and responding to compliments and complaints.

Why does WAPHA think that supporting feedback this way is important?

Promoting use of Patient Opinion in primary care makes one contribution towards achieving WAPHA’s vision of reduced fragmentation across the health system by helping people who use health services to recognise one consistent method of giving feedback.

Inviting and responding to feedback through Patient Opinion is one indicator to all stakeholders that an organisation values feedback and contributes to a health system wide culture where people are partners in their care.

 What does the partnership between Patient Opinion and WAPHA mean in practice?

WAPHA is providing free Patient Opinion subscriptions and promotional materials to the services it funds in the Country WA and the East Metro Area Health Service catchment areas. This subscription enables service providers to respond to stories made in Patient Opinion about their service. WAPHA and Patient Opinion can support service providers to respond to comments where needed, but any dialogue remains just between a service user and the service.

The Program Lead for Community Engagement at WAPHA and the relevant Regional Manager or Co-ordinator will receive an alert that a comment has been made about a funded service. WAPHA’s interest is in having oversight of the types of compliments and concerns raised by consumers in primary care. These will help WAPHA understand what is important to the community and inform service and system planning and design.

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