Measuring and monitoring patient experiences
Systematic, routine monitoring of patients’ experiences of, and outcomes from, health care is an important way to ensure that the patient’s perspective drives service improvements and person-centred care. This is the case in all health services.
Patient experience measures
While this clinical care standard does not include indicators specific to measuring patient experiences, the Commission strongly encourages health services to use the Australian Hospital Patient Experience Question Set (AHPEQS). AHPEQS is a 12-question generic patient experience survey that has been validated in both day-only and admitted hospital patients across many clinical settings. The instrument is available for download to both private and public sector health services.
Patient-reported outcome measures
In Australia, patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are an emerging method of assessing the quality of health care. The Commission is leading a national work program to support the consistent and routine use of PROMs to drive quality improvement.
PROMs are standardised, validated questionnaires that patients complete, without any input from clinicians. They are often administered at least twice to an individual patient – at baseline and again after an intervention, or at regular intervals during a chronic illness. The information contributed by patients filling out PROM questionnaires can be used to support and monitor the movement of health systems towards person-centred, value-based health care.
PROMs are being used to evaluate healthcare effectiveness at different levels of the health system, from the individual level to service and system levels. There is growing interest across Australia and internationally in the routine interrogation of patient-reported outcome information for evaluation and decision-making activities at levels of the health system beyond the clinical consultation.