THUNDER BAY – Healthbeat – Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) works hard to make improvements based on feedback from patients and family members, from increasing the number of parking spaces to developing a plan to reduce smoking on the hospital grounds.
Having your say about an experience you or a family member has had at TBRHSC is now more convenient than ever. Instead of submitting patient comment cards in the suggestion boxes throughout the hospital or printing the downloadable comment form from the website and then sending it by hand or mail, individuals can now submit an online form at https://feedback.tbrhsc.net/.
“Patients tell a clearer story from the comfort of their own homes – they have time to think about what they’re writing,” says Cathy Covino, Senior Director of Quality and Risk Management.
Covino says the new online submission form is easier and more efficient for everyone to use. The Quality and Risk Management department is now better able to track trends and to generate reports that are sent to the individuals who will make change, such as managers and the Board of Directors.
“We use this information to improve and it is so much easier now that the process is automated. This means we can share reports more often with ease, as it is just the push of a button and not a manual data pull. The good news for patients and families that take the time to submit concerns is that we use the information even more often now. The benefit for TBRHSC is that it is now a more efficient process,” says Covino. It is also easier to monitor the follow-up actions after the comment is submitted, to see what stage it’s at in the process.
Anyone who submits a compliment or concern receives a letter from the Quality and Risk Management department thanking the individual for contributing to improvements at TBRHSC. The concern is then forwarded to the manager of the appropriate department. A lead is assigned to investigate, resolve and respond to the concern.
“In most situations the experts in the area are able to respond to the concerns identified. Some situations may require the Chief of Staff and I to meet with the individual and their family to discuss a particular concern,” says Covino.
A compliment is forwarded directly to the employee, along with a congratulatory letter from TBRHSC President and CEO, Andrée Robichaud.
Since adopting the Patient and Family Centred Care model, including volunteer Patient and Family Advisors, in planning, policy development, strategy, and care, and taking patient feedback into account in the Quality Improvement Plan, TBRHSC has seen increased patient and staff satisfaction. In fact, patient compliments have consistently outweighed concerns since 2007.
“We are always looking for feedback,” says Covino. “We want feedback so that we can focus our improvement on what matters to our patients and their families. The more feedback we receive, the more data we have to guide us in our decision-making.”