New hospital survey will ensure the highest quality of patient care

By William O'Connor

As part of its longstanding commitment to patient advocacy and ensuring a high quality patient experience, Tallaght Hospital undertook a Volunteer-Led Patient Survey Programme involving extensive patient surveys of inpatients and outpatients in 2015 to gather patient feedback and use it to improve services.

Between July and November 2015, specially trained members of the Tallaght Hospital Volunteer Service in partnership with the Patient Advocacy Service interviewed 426 patients about their experiences at Tallaght Hospital.

David Slevin CEO Tallaght Hospital Triona Murphy and Ritchie OReilly of Tallaght Hospital Action Group resized

Working with the Picker Institute, personalised surveys were designed for each patient that enabled volunteers to generate feedback on their experience of the treatment and facilities at Tallaght Hospital in an atmosphere of comfort and confidence. 

The survey results were presented as a special Patient Survey Showcase event, held at Tallaght Hospital on the 20th of January. Guests included Peter Tyndall Ombudsman, Stephen McMahon of the Irish Patients Association, Dr. Philip Crowley of the HSE, Lisa Yorke of the Picker Institute and representatives of Irish and UK hospitals and local patients’ representatives.

Survey results revealed that the vast majority of patients are happy with their experience at Tallaght Hospital, with 94% of inpatients responding that care was good, very good or excellent; 98% saying their hospital room or ward was clean and 95% saying they had confidence in the nurses. Importantly, the survey was designed with the user in mind, to find improvements that are not always obvious to staff and regular visitors.

David Slevin, CEO, Tallaght Hospital said, “Tallaght Hospital has always been committed to ensuring that all our patients receive the highest quality of care and a central part of that is collecting and responding to their feedback.

This initiative, with support from experts in the area such as the Picker Institute, the Southampton NHS Trust and the excellent work of our volunteer’s service and patient advocacy department, will ensure the patient voice is heard. The entire initiative is a very practical example of how at Tallaght Hospital we are all about ‘people caring for people’.”

Dr Daragh Fahey, Director of Quality Safety & Risk Management, Tallaght Hospital said, “These surveys will give patients an influential voice in this process and capture insights and improvements that are not always obvious to staff who use the facility every day. This is yet another way for Tallaght Hospital to demonstrate its commitment to patients and their welfare.”

Carol Roe, Manager, Tallaght Hospital Volunteer Service said, “The feedback from all the volunteers involved in this process has been excellent. The patient survey is a wonderful initiative – asking our patients, who are our customers, is an example of how seriously Tallaght Hospital is trying to improve patient care.”

The surveys include: Improved hospital signage; increased clinics and list validation procedures to reducing waiting times; increased information on departments for patients to review before attending for their outpatient view; a review of pastoral care services to increase the number of people available to patients to talk to them about their concerns and fears; new uniforms for volunteers for easier identification by patients.

These improvements should lead to a greater level of patient satisfaction as they use our services and they also provide a base line performance level for future analysis and improvement.

Tallaght Hospital plans to undertake four more surveys with different questions in 2016 in the X-Ray Department, the Emergency Department, Paediatric Inpatients and Paediatric Outpatients.



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