Our Quality Page Title

Patient Experience

International research in the healthcare industry has identified patient experience as one of the top priorities for hospital leaders; it further indicates that successful hospitals provide an exceptional patient experience and that everyone has a role to play in the patient journey. Furthermore, it has been proven that by putting patients first, hospitals will deliver safe, high quality care in an environment of trust and satisfaction. Life Healthcare is therefore joining international and local healthcare providers by moving beyond measuring patient satisfaction into measuring and promoting patient experience of care.

In line with this, Life Healthcare has set the objective of delivering a superior patient experience across all touch points, in all facilities and business units. While many aspects contribute to a positive patient experience, we believe that a patient journey is enhanced through thoughtful behaviour from all who interact with that patient. In every interaction Life Healthcare staff are encouraged to be mindful of their behaviour and the impact it may have (positive or negative) on the patient’s experience of care.

The group’s CARE programme has been developed with this in mind. It involves 24 000 employees and management, partners (doctors), medical students and service providers across all service offerings (including Life Acute Hospitals, Life Rehabilitation, Life Mental Health, Life Esidimeni and Life Occupational Health). Each employee undergoes a full day of training, delivered by trained Life Healthcare CARE Champions, which incorporates picture based methodology, maps and games, making it fun and interactive – providing a fresh new approach to learning. In addition to this, the entire Group participates in monthly themed huddle sessions, designed specifically to ensure that the energy of the initial roll out of the programme is not lost over time.

During the training, staff members are provided with insight in to the world of Life Healthcare – how their role impacts the patient journey and therefore the experience, and how by changing or continuing certain behaviours, the experience of the patients entrusted to our care will be enhanced. The training provides the simple tools and behaviours to ensure that we all engage with our patients in a more thoughtful manner.

In line with the ISO methodology – Life Healthcare not only trains staff on the importance of delivering a superior patient experience, but we also assess whether this is actually being achieved. This is measured in a number of ways:

  • Patient experience score – based on an internationally adopted, online post discharge survey, which measures a patient’s overall satisfaction with their hospital experience (currently in place for all acute hospitals, emergency units and acute rehabilitation visits and in development for acute mental health patients).
  • Recommend / loyalty score – a patient loyalty measure adopted from international measurement tools (in place for all of the above visits).
  • Comment cards – handed to patients to indicate their positive or negative comments on the quality of their experience, or to recognise a specific employee for their exceptional service during their stay.
  • Contact us – an online portal accessed via this website which provides the public with a platform to lodge compliments, complaints and general enquiries. Issues raised online are routed via the group electronic complaints management system to the relevant parties.

The concept of ‘patient centred care’ is one that is recognised internationally, as well as by Life Healthcare. We believe that an informed public is an empowered public and open communication, education and involvement of our patients is encouraged at every level. Our patient rights and responsibilities brochure, which is available in all our facilities, informs our patients and families of their basic rights with regards to care in our facilities (including their right to involvement in all clinical decisions and treatment options as well as the right to provide feedback about the service they receive). It also includes our patients’ responsibilities which assist us in ensuring their best possible care. This information - provided in the form of a poster and brochure - incorporates components of the national Patient Rights Charter.

In addition to these group-wide initiatives – hospital based measures include:
  • Care rounds
  • Post discharge telephonic surveys
  • Doctor satisfaction surveys

For more information related to our group clinical and quality scorecard, please see Life Healthcare's latest Integrated Report under the Investor Relations tab.