Sligo University Hospital working to improve patient experience

Leitrim Observer reporter

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Sligo University Hospital working to improve patient experience

Acute hospitals across the country, including Sligo University Hospital, will again this year participate in the National Patient Experience Survey. The 2018 survey is part of a broader programme to help improve the quality and safety of healthcare services provided to patients in Ireland. 

The survey tries to understand how patients interact with the healthcare system and how they experience this process. It will help us establish what is working well in our hospitals and what needs to be improved.

All inpatients discharged from Sligo University Hospital during May 2018 will be invited to participate in this survey.

The National Patient Experience Survey values and seeks to represent the patient voice.

Key findings for Sligo University Hospital in the 2017 survey were that, 88% of patients said that overall they felt that they were treated with respect and dignity. 105 (37%) said that they were not told about medicinal side effects and any danger signals to watch for when they went home.

The survey demonstrated that many patients were very positive about the amount of time they had to discuss their care and treatment with a doctor.

A large number of patients also reported that all of the hospital staff could be identified by their name badges. The survey further found that many patients were very positive about how their pain was managed. Generally, patients in Sligo University Hospital reported high levels of trust and confidence in the hospital staff treating them.

A number of areas for improvement were identified and these included waiting times, communications around diagnosis and test results, nutrition and hydration and the patient discharge process.

In response to last year’s survey findings Sligo University Hospital has developed a quality improvement plan – Listening Responding and Improving - and to date we have implemented a number of improvements or projects, including:

 – There is an on-going focus on reducing the number of patients on trolleys in the Emergency Department, in line with the HSE target times.

–  An improvement Programme in the Emergency Department will continue to work to increase self-awareness among staff and to engage in continuous improvement in the department to provide an improved experience for the patients, families, and the care teams

–  A Nutrition and Hydration steering committee was already established at SUH, with the aim of continuing to improve hospital nutrition and catering for patients and staff alike.

–  All patients admitted to hospital are assessed for being at risk of malnutrition. The objective is to identify patients who may need dietetic advice or assistant with feeding.

–  The protected meal-times policy is implemented and supported hospital wide to afford patients protected time to eat their meals without interruption, therefore contributing to their overall wellbeing and recovery.

– Review of discharge  patient information leaflets

- Review of menu choices for patients

– Discharge project is underway to provide a focus on improving the discharge planning experience for patients.

Grainne McCann, General Manager, Sligo University Hospital said, “The Patient Experience Survey results have given us a clear insight into the patient’s experiences in our hospital and assists us in understanding what matters to patients. It confirms for us the importance of working in partnership with our patients, their carers, our staff and communities. I would like to thank all the patients who took part in the survey and the staff who encouraged and facilitated it. I would again encourage our patients to participate in this year’s survey – your feedback is very important to us and provides us with important information on how we can continue to improve patient care and build on positive patient experience.”

For further information on the National Patient Experience Survey visit www.patientexperience.ie  or follow @NPESurvey @HSELive #patientexperience #listeningrespondingimproving