Standards for general practices

Quality improvement module

Criterion QI1.2 – Patient feedback

        1. Criterion QI1.2 – Patient feedback

Indicator


QI1.2 A Our practice collects feedback from patients, carers and other relevant parties in accordance with the RACGP’s Patient feedback guide.

QI1.B Our practice analyses, considers and responds to feedback.

QI1.2 C Our practice informs patients, carers and other relevant parties about how we have responded to feedback and used feedback to improve quality.

Why this is important

Collecting and responding to feedback about patients’ experiences has been shown to improve:

  • clinical effectiveness and patient safety
  • adherence to recommended medication and treatments
  • preventive care, such as the use of screening services and immunisations.1

Patients appreciate knowing that their feedback is taken seriously and acted on where possible.

Meeting this Criterion

You must collect feedback from patients, consider the feedback and use it to improve the quality of your care.

Where possible, encourage patients, carers and other relevant parties to raise any concerns with the practice team directly. In response, your practice needs to attempt to resolve these concerns within the practice.

Collecting feedback

You can collect feedback using any method that meets the requirements of the RACGP’s Patient feedback guide. When deciding how you want to collect feedback from your patients, consider the following:

  • The kind of information you are seeking: broad, specific or in-depth
  • The time required to conduct patient feedback and analyse the results
  • The demographics of your patients, including their education level and the range of languages they speak at home

You can use any of the following methods to collect patient feedback:

  • An RACGP-approved questionnaire developed by a commercial company
  • A questionnaire developed in accordance with the RACGP’s Patient feedback guide
  • A focus group developed in accordance with the RACGP’s Patient feedback guide
  • Interviews developed in accordance with the RACGP’s Patient feedback guide
  • A specific method that your practice decides on that meets the requirements of the RACGP’s

Patient feedback guide and is approved by the RACGP

The RACGP’s Patient feedback guide provides more detail on how to collect, analyse and use feedback from your patients. The Patient feedback guide is available at www.racgp.org.au/yourpractice/standards/standards5thedition/patient-feedback

You can choose to collect patients’ feedback about their experience of accessing healthcare at your practice, either at one period during the three-year accreditation cycle, or on an ongoing basis throughout the three years.

Collecting feedback all at once

If you choose to collect feedback all at once, this must be undertaken at least once every three years.

Collecting feedback on an ongoing basis

If you choose to seek feedback from patients on an ongoing basis over a three-year period instead of collecting it all at once, you could:

  • have short questionnaires focusing on specific areas of interest (eg a new service, a change to the waiting areas), which patients could complete on paper, using electronic tablets available at the practice, or online at the practice’s website or a survey website
  • send a text message asking for feedback on a specific area of interest to patients who have consented to receiving text messages from your practice
  • hold patient forums and information days
  • have an electronic tablet at the entrance to the practice so randomly selected patients could quickly rate an aspect of their visit to your practice (eg give it a score out of five).

If you choose to collect patient feedback on an ongoing basis, you need to ensure that the overall process still meets the requirements of the RACGP’s Patient feedback guide.

The RACGP’s Patient feedback guide provides more detail about how to collect patient feedback on an ongoing basis.

Collecting carers and other relevant parties’ feedback on their experience

Your practice could collect feedback from carers and other relevant parties on their experience at your practice. These activities would be in addition to your patient feedback requirements. For example, you could offer carers and other relevant parties feedback forms or encourage them to use a suggestion box at reception.

Using feedback

Regardless of the method you use to collect patient feedback, you must analyse the feedback you receive and use it to improve the quality of your care.

Some of the suggestions made by patients will not be practical or feasible for your practice, so it is up to you to decide what feedback will be used and to prioritise activities based on the feedback.

After collecting and analysing patient feedback, identify key issues and decide on a quality improvement plan. To do this, you could: • convene a team meeting dedicated to this activity

  • seek team members’ opinions on the priority of the activities that will address patient feedback
  • send each team member a summary of the feedback and ask them for their thoughts on what quality improvement activities could be implemented
  • consider which feedback aligns with the practice’s strategic objectives.

Because patients value knowing that their feedback has been respectfully considered and implemented where possible, inform patients of the quality improvement activities that you are planning to implement and those you have implemented. For example, you could display posters in the waiting area, include relevant information on your website and in your newsletter, and send letters to patients. If you have received a lot of feedback relating to something that is not feasible (eg putting a coffee machine in the waiting room), you could tell patients why this suggestion is not viable for your practice.

Meeting each Indicator

QI1.2 A Our practice collects feedback from patients, carers and other relevant parties in accordance with the RACGP’s Patient feedback guide.

You must:

  • collect feedback from your patients in line with the requirements of the RACGP’s Patient feedback guide.

You could:

  • You could:
  • use the RACGP’s Patient feedback guide to develop your own patient feedback process
  • use a commercially available questionnaire that is approved by the RACGP • conduct face-to-face patient feedback sessions, such as focus groups or interviews
  • seek feedback from patients about specific areas of the practice.

QI1.2 B Our practice analyses, considers and responds to feedback.

You must:

  • keep records that show that you considered and discussed issues raised by patients, and have made improvements in response to their feedback.

You could:

  • discuss patient feedback responses at team meetings
  • create specific action plans to address issues raised by patients
  • share the results and outcome reports about activities that were based on patient feedback with the practice team
  • incorporate improvements into relevant policies and procedures.

QI1.2 C Our practice informs patients, carers and other relevant parties about how we have responded to feedback and used feedback to improve quality.

You must:

  • inform patients about how the practice has responded to feedback received.

You could:

  • advise patients about how the practice has responded to patient feedback via the practice’s website, in practice newsletters, and in notices in waiting rooms.

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