University of Melbourne investigation to improve patient experience

9 May 2014

An investigation led by the University of Melbourne shows that positive patient experience is as a key part of high-quality health care and goes beyond responsibility of frontline medical and nursing staff.

University of Melbourne Public Health School
Study public health at the University of Melbourne

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare has identified Partnering with consumers as one of the top issues that needs to be addressed by boards to improve the quality of health service provision in Australia.
The investigation found safeguards to improve patient experiences was not the sole responsibility of doctors and nurses but is a core governance responsibility for hospital leaders, including the board.
Dr Marie Bismark, from the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health said evidence was building about the link between effective partnerships with healthcare consumers and high quality health care.
“We’re seeing a real change in attitudes in the health sector. Patients are becoming more engaged with their own healthcare decisions and more willing to question the way in which services are provided,” she said.
Dr Bismark found that while some health service boards in Victoria were embracing the change others were more reluctant to move away from traditional models of care.
“Our interviews with health services boards in Victoria showed that some boards are highly active in improving patient experience. It’s at the heart of everything they do,” she said. “But other boards still don’t see patient experience as a priority—they are more focused on financial issues, are not sure how to engage with consumers effectively, or see it as a ‘tick the box’ exercise with little real impact.”
Co-author, Susan Biggar from the Health Issues Centre said that Australia needed to learn from the experiences at Mid-Staffordshire Trust in the UK.
“When hospital boards don’t listen to the concerns of patients and their families, lives are put at risk.” she said. “It’s time for boards to put their hearts, as well as their minds, into working with consumers to improve patient experience.”

University of Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

The  Melbourne School of Population and Global Health aims to strengthen the understanding, capacity and services of society to meet population health needs and to improve the quality and equity of health care.
The population health approach recognizes that health is a capacity or resource rather than a state, a definition which corresponds more to the notion of being able to pursue one’s goals, to acquire skills and education, and to grow.
This broader notion of health recognizes the range of social, economic and physical environmental factors that contribute to health (Public Health Agency of Canada).
Program: Master of Public Health
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February/March
Duration: 1.5 – 2 years (depending on background of candidate)
Application deadline: While there is no set application deadline for this public health program, applicants are strongly encouraged by the University of Melbourne to submit their applications a minimum of three months prior to the program’s start date.
Entry Requirements: To be eligible to apply, you must have an undergraduate degree in any discipline; or at least 200 points of tertiary study (equal to two full-time years of study) in any discipline and at least five years of documented relevant health-related experience.

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Find out more about public health and international public health degrees available at the University of Melbourne Public Health School. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Public Health Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady by emailing or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.