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Gift Wrapped: a summary of the Care Opinion 2023 forum

Update from Care Opinion Australia

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The recordings from the Care Opinion Australia Forum “Partners in safety: Elevating the voice of patients for feedback and co-design” are now live and ready to inspire energised action towards amplifying the consumer voice.

In the spirit of giving at this time of year we have compiled a short summary of the presentations below, as well as a playlist so you can watch each part of the forum in bite sized chunks (much like I'll be digging into my Gingerbread House this weekend)!

To view the entire playlist on YouTube, click here.

Session 1: Care in Precarious Times: how will the consumer voice take us towards zero harm

In the first session we heard from Dr James Munro, CO-Founder of Care Opinion and CEO Care Opinion UK as he presented  “Care Opinion at 18: going beyond feedback data towards safer care and happier teams”. James shared the evidence and motivations for why people post feedback online and how this relates to the impact for staff (morale, confidence, pride), and the flow on benefits for an organisational culture of openness, learning and improvement.

We heard the three primary reasons people share online are to inform, to improve and to praise the care delivered. The research shows that for many, sharing feedback online is an act of “solidarity and altruism and connection with health services and other health service users”. From the staff perspective, research is showing the “feedback coming through Care Opinion has a significant and positive impact on staff”, particularly in staff morale.

Watch James’ presentation here.

We were also fortunate to be joined by Fraser Gilmore, Executive Director & Head of Care Opinion Scotland. During his presentation “Branching out and putting down roots: embedding practice across health and care in Scotland”, Fraser shared evidence from the nation-wide implementation of Care Opinion that showed a healthy feedback cycle has developed across Scotland.

Feedback is boosting staff morale which is encouraging and empowering staff to seek further feedback. This in turn is reforming practice and service improvement. Fraser discusses how this has led to culture change and increased staff appetite to do more across the nation.

Watch Fraser’s presentation here.

Session 2: Towards Zero: from regulation to innovation

The second session of the Care Opinion Australia Forum saw us joined by three professionals from Western Australia; a state that has been leading the way with relational feedback in Australia since 2016.

Frances Downey, Director for Health Networks within the Clinical Excellence Division at the Department of Health WA, shared insights into the data they are receiving from Care Opinion stories and the overwhelmingly positive feedback being shared about WA Health. Frances noted that “Health service providers have said what's really valuable about Care Opinion is to get the patient journey in the words of the consumer with emotion and feelings related to those experience that they may not capture via other mechanisms”.

Dr Tina Bertilone, Executive Director for Patient Experience and Clinical Excellence North Metropolitan Health Service talked us through the “building blocks for the co-produced health service” and Care Opinion as a tool for data collection and analysis. Tina’s presentation enlightened us on the three stages of quality improvement in healthcare where the paradigm has shifted from being primarily focused on thresholds, processes and performance measurement to being embedded in co-production and kindship between consumers and staff.

Clare Mullen, Executive Director of Health Consumers Council WA, shared with us the importance of being intentional about reaching out to consumers to engage consumers to speak up and with support and confidence. Clare encouraged us with a powerful call to action that, “providing the feedback is one thing, what you need is an equal and opposite willingness to listen and act on that feedback”.

Watch the presentation by Frances, Tina and Clare here.

Dr Anne Marie Hadley, Chief Experience Officer for the NSW Ministry for Health shared wonderful insights into bringing kindness into care, the importance and intersection of the staff experience with the consumer experience and reminded us all that “At the end of the day we are all just human beings, caring for human beings”. Thank you, Anne Marie, for bringing your passion for compassion and sharing your knowledge of effective consumer partnerships with us.

Watch Anne Marie’s presentation here.

Dr Andy Phillips, Executive Director of Patient Safety at Safer Care Victoria, instilled in us a recognition that “people with lived experience are huge assets to the system, not a burden, and not passive recipients, but really quite key to not only the design, but the delivery of service”.

We heard and wholeheartedly agree that engaging those with lived experience is a mutual and reciprocal relationship and that people with lived experience are critical to assuring safety and quality of services.

Watch Andy’s presentation here.

Justin O’Hare, A/Co-Director of Nursing and Operations, Emergency, Specialist & Continuing Medicine (ESCM) and Francis Nicolas, A/Service Manager at the South Eastern Sydney LHD Community Management Centre also joined us in the third session.

Justin’s team saw a remarkable increase in feedback returning as stories on Care Opinion after placing stickers on medical equipment given to patients during the COVID Delta wave. It was inspiring to see the new and innovative ways services can encourage feedback sharing, and in a way that will assist in evaluation of new services.

Following this, Francis, shared a beautiful presentation about the subsequent impact on culture and morale the feedback had for their staff. Heart-warming images of the Care Opinion Hero awards being given to the staff at the COVID Management Centre brought smiles to all of our faces.

Watch Justin and Francis’ presentation here.

Session 3: Future Directions: learning for change

In session three we were once again joined by Dr James Munro to steer our vision to the future and explore what the opportunities are for patient narratives using Care Opinion. 

James shared fascinating articles, including recent research that used Care Opinion UK story data to show correlation between patient's perceived safety concerns and hospital level mortality.

Watch James' session here and read the latest Care Opinion research here.

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