Modern day healthcare has taken on a patient-led agenda; with the NHS ‘friends and family test’ to be introduced from April 2013, patient feedback being an integral part of the revalidation of doctors and the NHS mandate’s focus on ensuring patients have a positive experience of care.
Patient experience was also a key theme of the MPS International Conference 2012 – Quality and Safety in Healthcare: Making a Difference, this week.
Dr Neil Bacon, Founder of doctors.net and iwantgreatcare.org who spoke at the conference, believes that to ignore the patient’s voice is to miss the point of quality healthcare completely. He said: “Patients know when the care they are receiving is good, and they want to provide feedback to improve outcomes for others. When organisations deliver a great patient experience, they deliver safe care and good outcomes, at low cost, with high staff morale.
He added that if the NHS is serious about improving patient experience, it must lower the barriers that may prevent patients from being able to provide feedback.
“Social media must be embraced in order to capture both excellence and the potential for improvement” he said. “Patient experience can be described as the ‘smoke detector of patient safety’ – without it, we do not know what dangers lie ahead.”