Now in its fifth year of reporting, Discovery Health is pleased to release its annual list of 20 leading South African hospitals as rated by patients through the Patient Survey Score (PaSS). The Top 20 list is based on aggregated surveys completed by members of medical schemes administered by Discovery Health rating their in-hospital experience across various aspects of care. The 2018 PaSS list, which is modelled on a globally validated survey, reveals five newcomers and five hospitals appearing for the fifth consecutive year. In 2018, Discovery Health received approximately 53 000 survey responses from patients admitted to 202 hospitals.
“It’s very encouraging to see a year-on-year increase in the number of patients completing their member experience survey after being discharged from hospital. In 2018, 19% of Discovery members who received the survey submitted a response, up from 14% in 2014. The voice of the patient is powerful and can be used to make a difference in how care is delivered. PaSS creates a systematic and standardised way to capture information about a patient’s experience of care in hospital. These results are then shared with members on Discovery’s website, creating transparency and driving positive change by helping healthcare providers identify gaps that need attention,” says Dr Roshini Moodley Naidoo, Head of Quality of Care at Discovery Health.
“By making a patient’s experience of care visible to the entire healthcare system, PaSS acts as a catalyst for change. This level of visibility increases accountability for changes to be made to patient care. For instance, hospitals often respond to PaSS scores by implementing improvement initiatives such as ensuring that better information is available to patients about post discharge care or that nurses listen more carefully and respond to patients’ needs,” adds Dr Moodley Naidoo.
The survey captures the following areas of patient feedback:
- How well nursing staff engage and communicate with patients;
- How well doctors engage and communicate with patients;
- How well suited the hospital environment is to the needs of patients e.g. are noise levels kept to a minimum;
- How well pain is managed;
- How clearly information about medication is shared with patients;
- Whether patients are adequately prepared for discharge e.g. are patients given information about symptoms to look out for that may indicate a need to see the doctor again; and
- An overall hospital rating including whether patients would recommend the hospital to others.
2018 Top 20 Honours list for Patient Experience of Care
The leading hospitals rated by patients in 2018 as offering the best experience of care are listed in alphabetical order. There are five newcomers to the Top 20 list in 2018, four hospitals feature for the second time, while three make their third appearance. “A number of hospitals appear in the 2018 list for the fourth or fifth year in a row, and we commend them on this excellent achievement, which reflects a consistently high standard of care,” says Dr Moodley Naidoo.
What has changed for the better over the past five years?
The 2018 results show an improvement in five out of the eight survey categories, with the remaining three categories showing very minimal drops. “We’re pleased to note that overall Patient Survey Scores have improved by 19% since we began publishing results in 2014, clearly showing that hospitals surveyed are increasingly meeting patient expectations of better care. Running the survey and publishing the results annually, has the same positive impact in our healthcare environment as observed internationally,” says Dr Moodley Naidoo.
The categories that patients care about most are: how nurses communicate and engage with patients, information about medicine and managing pain. Encouragingly, all of these categories delivered higher scores in 2018, and it is hoped these will improve even further in future years.
“We believe the survey has a positive impact beyond in-hospital care, as patients who are well-prepared for discharge from hospital have better health outcomes and are at lower risk of repeat admissions. This is an important area of focus as repeat admissions are, on a global level, considered a warning sign of a care gap,” explains Dr Moodley Naidoo.
Doctors are central to best quality care, and since inception of Patient Survey Scores becoming publicly available in 2015, patients have rated doctors the highest out of all survey categories. In each subsequent year, the doctor scores have continued to increase and in 2018 the doctor category was scored by patients at an impressive 85.7%.
Using the patient’s voice to design a healthcare system that responds to the needs of patients
“We thank all Discovery members who took the time to complete their survey in 2018 and encourage others to do so in 2019, should they receive care in hospital. How patients experience care is the foundation of any high performing healthcare system, and it’s worth aspiring to be our best for those in need,” adds Dr Moodley Naidoo.
Discovery Health congratulates all hospitals in the 2018 Top 20 honours list.
“We applaud their hard-working nurses and doctors, and we encourage other facilities to strive for similar levels of excellence. These hospitals place value on listening carefully to patients and responding to the needs of patients in a respectful and caring way. These hospitals recognise that it is more important to make care decisions with patients, than for patients,” she concluded.
Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment and wellness markets. Since inception, Discovery has been guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. This has manifested in its globally recognised Vitality Shared-Value insurance model, exported to over 19 countries and reaching over 11 million members. Discovery trades on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange, with a market cap of $7 billion.
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