Why implement AHPEQS

Your organisation may not currently survey patients, or may use another survey. AHPEQS offers significant benefits to health service organisations, and it can be used alone or as an additional module to your existing survey.

AHPEQS benefits

AHPEQS allows the systematic inclusion of the patient’s voice into decision-making at multiple levels of the health system, from ward level to national level. It helps Australian health service organisations to put patients’ perspectives on a par with more traditional indicators of quality – such as complication rates – as an equally valid and complementary way to assess and improve the safety and quality of services.

Aspects of care that help or hinder a patient’s recovery sometimes have nothing to do with clinical quality or safety but are more to do with the interactions they have with staff and with administrative processes of a service.

AHPEQS and other surveys

There are many types of patient survey available, which measure various aspects of the patient experience:

  • Patient-reported outcome measurement (PROM; outcome focused) – captures changes in patients’ self-reported quality of life, symptoms, pain or functioning between two time points: pre- and post-procedure or intervention
  • Patient-reported incident measurement (PRIM; event focused) – captures adverse events as reported by patients
  • Patient-reported experience measurement (PREM; process focused) – captures patients’ self-reported observations and feelings about their interactions with health service workers, environments and processes, usually after an episode of care has finished
  • Satisfaction survey (opinion focused) – captures what patients thought or felt about their experiences, and how satisfied they were with the service.

AHPEQS is a PREM survey. It focuses on the patient experience because:

  • Research has shown that good experiences of care are linked to good clinical and quality of life outcomes
  • Outcomes and incidents can be measured in other ways, whereas the patient experience can only be described by the patients themselves
  • Satisfaction surveys are very subjective, and don’t tell you exactly where you can improve and what you need to change.

Your organisation may already have a patient survey in place, which may be a PROM, PRIM, PREM or satisfaction survey, or some combination of these.

AHPEQS offers a survey that is:

  • Based on research with consumers, so it captures what patients are most interested in
  • Short,  which has anecdotally been reported by early adopters of AHPEQS as  a reason for improved response rates compared to previous longer surveys
  • Free of charge
  • Available in multiple formats, so that you can tailor your approach to suit your patient demographics
  • Tested to show that the questions are valid, reliable and easily understandable.

AHPEQS and your organisation

Because AHPEQS is a short survey that focuses on what is important to patients, it can provide useful, targeted information that can be acted upon. AHPEQS can provide valuable information to feed into:

  • Reporting processes to the board, executive, management, staff and public
  • Board, executive and management planning
  • Care strategies and guidelines
  • Ongoing updates to staff
  • Data to stimulate discussion at consumer forums
  • Ward-specific procedures
  • Staff updates and training
  • Ongoing improvement in patient care.

AHPEQS and National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards

The National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS Standards) support patient-centred care, and assessment using the NSQHS Standards (second edition) came into use from January 2019.

AHPEQS can be used as evidence for actions in multiple Standards, to show that an organisation has ‘consumers as partners in planning, design, delivery, measurement and evaluation of systems and services’. The Commission has developed brief guidance about how AHPEQS could be used in showing that an organisation is meeting actions in the standards. This will be available soon on this page.