VAHI has implemented several improvements as part of the new VHES program to increase the utility of the survey program, with a focus on the timeliness and actionability of patient experience data. 

Transition to Electronic data collection 

The VHES transitioned to electronic data collection from 1 July 2021, meaning most surveys are now completed by the patient online. Digital data collection will provide more timely feedback to health services and enable VAHI, in consultation with stakeholders to adapt the surveys in response to major events and changing priorities across the health system, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

Early results show a large increase in participation following the shift to electronic data collection, due to a large increase in the available sample size made possible by phasing out collection and processing of paper surveys. 

VAHI will closely monitor the response to the new online methodology and will make refinements as necessary over time to ensure we capture the voice of all Victorians. 

Survey redesign 

The surveys have been redesigned in consultation with health services and consumers to be shorter, provide more actionable insights and focus on the aspects of care most important to patients. 

The newly redesigned instruments comprise: 

  • 20 core questions that are relevant to all patient categories, and are aligned to the domains of SCV’s Partnering in Healthcare Framework 

  • ~10 questions specific to the patient population/care setting (i.e. inpatient, emergency, maternity, outpatient, community health, ambulance, palliative care). 

  • five demographic questions. 

The target of ~35 questions for the new surveys is based on evidence about the ideal survey length for electronic delivery. VAHI will continue to explore the impact of survey length on patient participation to ensure the voice of all Victorian’s is captured.