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Hospital Experiences Survey

Horizon Health Network (Horizon) implemented its third Hospital Experience Survey in May 2015. Results from this survey are compared to data from the New Brunswick Health Council's (NBHC) 2013 Acute Care Survey of medical and surgical patients. The May 2015 overall survey results remain similar to results from Horizon's two previous experience surveys. The results indicate continuous improvements in 12 of 13 patient care dimensions as compared with the 2013 NBHC data. 

The survey is meant to capture the care experiences of discharged patients who spent at least one night in a Horizon acute care facility. It measures care experiences provided during a patient's hospital stay, from admission to discharge. To be consistent with the NBHC methodology, only results of the medical and surgical populations, who are 18 years of age or older are reported. The patient populations of pediatrics, obstetrics, rehabilitation and mental health were also surveyed. The results of these patient populations are analyzed separately. 

In May 2015, more than 2,300 surveys were given to patients at discharge. From those distributed surveys, 1,131 surveys were returned, representing an overall 47.4 per cent return rate. This included a total of 873 medical surgical surveys, which represent the reported results.

Horizon also administered hospital experience surveys during the months of May and November 2014. Data from the surveys is used by Horizon to identify and implement initiatives to improve quality of care and evaluate targeted Patient and Family Centred Care initiatives. This is one of several measures to help identify trends in performance and areas for improvement. Horizon survey results are used to evaluate and make improvements in between the three-year survey cycle of the NBHC's survey.

It is noted Horizon used a different approach from the NBHC to distribute the survey. The NBHC mail their survey to all eligible discharged patients and includes a second mail-out as a reminder. Horizon's surveys are handed out to patients at the time of their discharge. The varied approach could account for differences between Horizon and NBHC results.

Patient care dimensions, which have continued to improve throughout all three of Horizon's patient experience surveys include:

Hospital Safety - patients who think the hospital definitely takes his/her safety seriously.

  •  An increase of 12% (87.5%) May 2015 from 75.5% 2013 NBHC

Responsiveness of care - staff always respond quickly to patients' needs when answering call bells

  • An increase of 12.4% (68.7%) May 2015 from 56.3% 2013 NBHC

Pain Control - patients who felt their pain was always well controlled

  • An increase of 17.9% (72.1%) May 2015 from 54.2% 2013 NBHC

The majority of the care dimensions overall results showed upward and downward fluctuations of four percent or less in comparison to Horizon's two previous surveys however continue to be better than the 2013 NBHC survey results. The overall hospital stay rating decreased by 3.6 percent from 80.8 percent in November 2014 to 77.2 percent during the May 2015 survey. This rating was based on a scale of zero to 10, with zero being the worst rating possible and 10 being the best.  Despite this decrease, the May 2015 rating remains higher than the 2013 NBHC rating of 74.2 per cent. The one care dimension that continues to trend lower than the 2013 NBHC results is the length of time waiting for an inpatient room. 

Horizon appreciates the feedback provided by patients who completed the May 2015 survey.

In order to better serve and understand the health-care needs of our communities, Horizon welcomes all comments from its patients, their families and visitors.

The NBHC will be completing its next acute care survey early in 2016. Horizon will be using this data to evaluate improvements in 2016 and will resume their patient experience survey in January 2017. The Horizon survey will continue on a yearly basis between NBHC survey cycles.

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