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 outcomes123.
The Standards for general practices (5th edition) were launched on 26 October 2017. Between the launch date and 31 October 2018, practices can choose to seek accreditation under the 4th edition or the 5th edition of the Standards. From 1 November 2018, all practices seeking accreditation will be assessed against the 5th edition.
For patient feedback, the requirements for accreditation vary slightly depending on which edition you are being assessed against and are outlined below.
Requirements for accreditation - 4th edition
Criterion 2.1.2 of the RACGP Standards for general practices (4th edition) requires practices to:
- at least once every 3 years, seek feedback about patients’ experiences of the practice
- demonstrate improvements that have been made in response to an analysis of patient feedback
- provide information to patients about practice improvements made as a result of their input.
Options for collecting feedback about patients’ experiences include:
Practices must also demonstrate that the information received from patients is used to help improve the practice. Ideally, the practice will also demonstrate they have provided information to their patients about improvements made to the practice in response to their feedback.
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 include:
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 application forms 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.
- 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 trainin 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.