There are clinical and operational benefits from partnerships between health organisations, patients, families, carers and consumers. A better patient experience is said to improve adherence to treatment regimens, reduce mortality, reduce readmission rates, reduce rates of healthcare acquired infections and reduce length of stay.
Operationally the benefits can include lower costs, improved liability claims, increased workforce satisfaction and retention. It sounds like a win-win to us.
So here’s our high level strategy to get you moving on improving quality through partnering with consumers:
- Define a clear direction, purpose and objectives
- Identify your key stakeholders and get their buy in
- Gain commitment from leadership at all levels
- Identify who is responsible and accountable and how you communicate results
- Equip your workforce with the skills to respectfully engage with patients, their families and carers
- Provide regular monitoring and reporting of patient feedback across all your services – as the saying goes ‘you can’t manage what you don’t measure’
- Build your employee capacity and provide a supportive working environment; make sure your staff ‘see things through the patient’s eyes’
- Keep performance accountability and evidence and communicate this back to all stakeholders
- Develop a learning organisational culture where best practice tips can be shared and areas of weakness can be improved
Want a more detailed plan? Check out the Queensland Government’s guide to developing a consumer and community engagement strategy: a toolkit for Hospital and Health Services
If you would like to hear what other health organisations are doing, the strategies they are adoption and to network with your peers we recommend checking out the Consumer Partnerships agenda.