5 Elements of Exceptional Care – Reviewing Patient Experience


Recent changes to the Medical Board (APHRA) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements have broadened the scope of eligible activities to include a greater emphasis on informal activities such as reviewing and reflecting on performance.

To meet the 2023 general registration standard, in each calendar year you must:

• meet the requirements of a CPD program of an accredited CPD home

• develop a written annual professional development plan

• complete a minimum of 50 hours per year of CPD activities that are relevant to your scope of practice and individual professional development needs

• allocate your minimum 50 hours per year between the following types of CPD activities: – at least 12.5 hours (25 per cent of the minimum) in educational activities – at least 25 hours (50 per cent of the minimum) in activities focused on reviewing performance and measuring outcomes, with a minimum of five hours for each category, and – the remaining 12.5 hours (25 per cent of the minimum), and any CPD activities over the 50-hour minimum across any of these types of CPD activity.

• self-evaluate your CPD activity at the end of the year as you prepare your professional development plan for the next year

• retain records of your annual CPD activity for audit by your CPD home and the Board for three years after the end of each one-year cycle.

(For full and current requirements see: https://www.medicalboard.gov.au/Professional-Performance-Framework/CPD.aspx)

Reviewing performance activities under this standard could include patient experience surveys and this has become something that is of interest, both to individual practitioners and practice groups looking to assist practitioners with the administrative aspects of CPD.

Conducting a bespoke patient experience survey to meet the specific interest areas of an individual practitioner need not be an administrative burden, with the assistance of available technology to collate responses.

University of Utah were the first health system in the United States to use an electronic survey of patients’ care experiences. Every year now they receive approximately 220,000 surveys. To make sense of this massive amount of information they did a study on what makes a patient experience exceptional, coming up with five consistent themes. Whilst derived in a hospital setting, these themes are helpful to consider when reviewing patient experience from a practitioner perspective. Ultimately, exceptional care is about the practitioner taking carriage of all care processes, and possibly also employing the necessary technologies, to make care easy to receive.

5 Elements of Exceptional Care

1. Caring – KNOW me

• Do they care about me as a person?

• Are they sensitive to my needs?

• Are they concerned about my questions and worries?

• Are they friendly and respectful?

2. Listening – HEAR me

• Do they include me in decisions about my care?

• Do they take the time to hear my concerns?

3. Explaining – TEACH me

• Do they explain my problem or condition?

• Do I understand my medications?

• Do I understand my follow up instructions?

• Do they use language I understand?

4. Teamwork – COORDINATE for me

• Was everyone friendly and courteous?

• Did the right hand know what the left hand was doing?

• Did the team work together to care for me?

5. Efficiency – MAKE IT EASY for me

• How hard was it for me to get in?

• How long did I wait?

• Did they explain delays?

• Did they respond to my call light?

• How smooth was my discharge?

• Did they follow up with my other doctors?

Source: https://accelerate.uofuhealth.utah.edu/improvement/the-five-elements-of-patient-experience

A few tips to consider when creating your questionnaire:

• Make sure you include context for respondents on why they are completing the questionnaire and what will happen with their responses.

• Limit questions. Keep in mind what information you want to gather. What is the goal of the survey and what questions help fulfil that goal?

• Don’t vary survey questions and format too much. Doing so can be distracting for your respondents. (e.g. use the same scale for all questions)

• Consider if you want the respondents to identify themselves (or not) and what affect this will have on survey response rate, and what you are able to do with the data.

• Make sure that your survey looks good on a mobile device – shorter is better on a smaller screen.

• Consider how you will direct respondents to the survey. Will a practitioner ask them to scan a QR code at the end of a visit? Will a receptionist ask them at payment? Does your practice management software enable you to SMS the survey an hour after the appointment time?

The UltimateQ system is developed by our in-house development team who can assist you with your required questionnaire and tailor your selection of responses, or you can simply select one of our off-the-shelf solutions. UltimateQ can also provide an independent service to collate results of the questionnaire, making it easy for the practitioner to reflect on performance with an awareness of trends.


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