Improving patient care
Patient experience can be used to improve patient care and the way practices delivers services. Evidence has shown that improved patient experience can result in better clinical outcomes1 2 3.
The Standards for general practices (5th edition) were launched on 26 October 2017. From 1 November 2018, all practices seeking accreditation will be assessed against the 5th edition.
Requirements for accreditation - 5th edition
Criterion QI1.2 of the RACGP Standards for general practices (5th edition) requires practices to:
- collect feedback from patients, carers and other relevant parties in accordance with the RACGP’s Patient feedback guide
- analyse, consider and respond to feedback
- inform patients, carers and other relevant parties about how the practice has responded to feedback and used feedback to improve quality.
The 5th edition does not specify the methods you must use to collect patient feedback. It is strongly encouraged that you consider which methods best suit your practice and your patients.
Options for collecting feedback about patients’ experiences
Regardless of which method, versions or tools you use, you must meet the requirements set out in the Patient feedback guide.
Using an RACGP-approved commercial tool is suitable for the majority of practices and provides an expert, standardised, high-quality and reliable method to collect and report patient feedback. For many practices, this may also be the simplest option.
If your patient feedback method requires RACGP approval, you must submit your tool following the initial development, pre-testing and refinement and prior to collecting information from patients. Completed applications forms for practice specific questionnaires, interviews, focus groups or other methods and relevant documentation must be submitted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For organisations wishing to develop a commercial patient feedback tool for consideration by the RACGP, please contact email@example.com to discuss the process and receive the relevant documentation.
After hours and medical deputising services
The Standards for after-hours and medical deputising services (5th edition) were launched in August 2018. Between August 2018 to 28 February 2019, after hours and medical deputising services can choose to be accredited under the RACGP Standards for general practices (4th edition) or the Standards for after-hours and medical deputising services (5th edition). From 1 March 2019, all services seeking accreditation will be assessed against the 5th edition.
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- Goodwin N, Dixon A, Poole T, Raleigh V (2011) Improving the Quality of Care in General Practice: Report of an independent inquiry commissioned by The King’s Fund
- Greco M, Brownlea A, McGovern J, and Cavanagh M. (2000) Consumers as Educators: Implementation of patient feedback in general practice training. Health Communication 12: 173-193.
- Coulter A and Elwyn G (2002) What do Patients Want From High-Quality General Practice and How Do We Involve Them In Improvement? British Journal of General Practice, October 2002 – Quality Supplement.