This week a distinguished and experienced figure in UK healthcare asked me ”how can people with HIV find out which GP they should choose if they want to get great care?”.
I get asked this question all the time – with variants depending on different groups of patients, disease-groups or charities.
There was consensus in the group I was speaking to that existing systems to monitor care/doctors and inform patients (GMC, CQC, HCC before that) do not meet this very real need. Of course, they were probably never meant to – but that still leaves a massive gap. The Information Revolution (of which my business, iWantGreatCare is a part) aims to fill this gap, and truly empower patients (and inform doctors) by providing detailed, personalised, comparative data in a form that makes sense to the public. Solving this challenge is not a technical or financial issue, and it is not something that the medical profession or Governments can fix.
Ultimately it is up the public and patients themselves, helped by their charities and organisations: the insight and experience of patients, properly harnessed, is known to be accurate in identifying great care and in helping organisations and individual doctors improve the care they give. The experience and perceptions of their peers is consistently one of the most influential opinions in guiding people’s choice about where they go for care for themselves or their families.
Thinking about all of this when out running today, I tried to concisely answer the question “why?”.
Why do we need a new approach to using patient experience?
Patients and the public want to know they are getting great care.
(and existing systems do not make it possible for patients to identify and choose the very best care)
Doctors and nurses deserve to get regular, comparative feedback on the care they give.
(but only a tiny percentage of those working in the NHS get timely, personalised, comparative feedback on how the great work they do is perceived by patients)
Organisations need to be fully and continuously aware of the quality of the care they deliver if they are to become world-class.
(this ensures excellence is recognised and disseminated, and poor care is identified before patients are harmed)