Patient ranking for hospitals

The SST report:

Patients will be able to write reviews of their public hospital stays when Trip Advisor-style ratings are adopted in New Zealand next year.

Health Minister Tony Ryall has confirmed a patient ranking system for public hospitals, similar to those already in use in Britain, will be rolled out nationwide.

It will allow patients to score hospitals on the quality of their emergency departments and inpatient wards and comment on what they liked or disliked, including staff, beds and food.

In Britain, the National Health Service introduced the Friends and Family in April this year. Patients are surveyed and can write online reviews, giving hospitals and clinics star ratings on cleanliness, staff co-operation, dignity and respect, patient involvement and accommodation.

In New Zealand, the Health Quality & Safety Commission is working on a similar but more comprehensive version of the tests for our hospitals.

That’s a great idea. Public ratings and feedback can be a very effective way of incentivising high standards.

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