09 May 2023

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The Victorian Healthcare Experience Survey (VHES) program has begun a project to improve representation of people from culturally diverse backgrounds, who have been historically under-represented in VHES results.

Victoria is one of the most culturally diverse states in Australia, with almost half the population either born overseas or having a parent born overseas. Historically, people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds have participated less in the VHES, limiting understanding about their experiences of care compared to non-CALD people.

This makes it difficult for health services to identify areas of health care improvement and implement actions that will improve health care experiences for people from CALD backgrounds.

“Improving the representation of diverse audiences in the VHES program is critical to ensuring all Victorians receive the best possible healthcare, regardless of who they are or where they live,” said VAHI CEO Dr Lance Emerson.

VAHI runs the VHES program, which includes 19 surveys targeting different types of health treatments and services.

VAHI have engaged the Social Research Centre to work with people from diverse backgrounds to identify the barriers they face in completing surveys about their experiences, and to develop actions that will help increase participation.

The project has been boosted by the support of the Patient Reported Measures Research Collaborative, a South Australian based professional network of people with expertise in Patient Reported Measures (PRMs) research.

The VHES team reached out to the Collaborative following their second symposium in November 2022, connecting to researchers currently working in the area of PRMs and health accessibility among CALD consumers.

This collaboration will help further inform understanding of the key barriers to participation and actions to overcome these barriers.

The CALD participation project will initially focus on the adult emergency, in-patient and maternity VHES program surveys, with a possible extension to the full range VHES program surveys in the future.

New Home and Community Care survey for young people 

In other VHES news, the program is launching a new survey aimed at people participating in the Home and Community Care Program for Younger People (HACC-PYP).

The HACC-PYP is run by the Department of Health, providing basic support and maintenance services to help people with disabilities remain living at home as independently as possible.

The new VHES survey will provide an important opportunity for HACC-PYP service users to provide feedback about the care and support they have received. Service providers will also be able tousethe survey resultsto drive continuousqualityimprovementintheir services.   

The tailored survey questionnaires and methodologies have been designed based on advice from an expert advisory group comprising of representatives of HACC-PYP services. Feedback from clients who have accessed HACC-PYP services was also sought through qualitative interviews. 

The first HACC-PYP survey launched in April 2023, to run concurrently with the existing VHES community health survey. Results for both surveys will be published on the VHES portal at the end of May.

For more information about the VHES program, please contact VAHI’s manager, Consumer Experience, Anna Ezzy, via [email protected]