Patients choose their top local private hospitals. Pexels image

Nobody ever really wants to be there.
The constant poking and injecting. The incessant testing and waking for scheduled pill times.
Hospital stays aren't anyone's cup-of-tea - especially with the all too constant stab of pain and discomfort reminding you why you landed up there in the first place.
But it seems, some hospitals are better than others.
This according to this week’s announcement of the country’s top 20 hospitals for 2016 is based on the results of the most recent Discovery Health Patient Survey Score (PaSS) initiative, now in its third year. The globally validated survey allows patients to constructively voice their views to healthcare providers of how care was experienced during admission to hospital.

Through the survey, patients have an opportunity to actively participate in the delivery of care by highlighting gaps and creating momentum for improvement.

“Measuring quality of care, including patient experience, is standard practice in healthcare systems around the world,” says Head of Quality of Care at Discovery Health, Dr Roshini Moodley Naidoo. “Healthcare systems that value and enable best quality of care are known to reduce unnecessary costs and offer improved health outcomes for patients. Our measurement of quality of care, the public reporting thereof, and the improvement strategies that healthcare providers implement, hold the potential to improve healthcare delivery,” adds Moodley Naidoo. “Through the survey, awareness of quality of care has increased. Since publication of the survey scores, we are observing positive changes in how care is experienced by patients. Truly best in class healthcare systems are those that are nimble and constantly learning and improving. By measuring and improving quality of care, we aspire to be a healthcare system of sustained excellence.”

To collect patient feedback on the experience of care in hospital, adult members of Discovery Health Medical Scheme are surveyed after their discharge from hospital. The survey covers questions across important categories such as how well pain was managed, the preparation of patients for care following discharge, and whether patients experienced communication from healthcare providers as respectful and easy to understand. To ensure a fair and equitable comparison between hospitals, the analysis considers factors that hospitals cannot reasonably control such as the nature of illness and the age and gender of patients. Overall, 136 hospitals were included in the analysis of patient experience scores.

Moodley Naidoo points out: “There are many factors contributing to quality of care in hospitals. A lower patient experience score does not necessarily mean a hospital does not deliver high quality care. The experience score does reveal areas for potential improvement in how patients experience care – areas the hospital may already be addressing.”

Since the inception of PaSS in 2014, there has been an increase in the number of survey responses. Further, there has been a steady improvement in patient scores across survey categories such as information about care following discharge. Patients who are prepared well for discharge have better health outcomes, and are at lower risk of repeat admissions.

“Discovery Health congratulates all hospitals in the Top 20, including those that have sustained their positions in the honours list over three consecutive years through committed improvement efforts. The Top 20 hospitals must be commended for building a more patient-centred healthcare system, which understands and responds quickly to patients’ needs, and involves patients and their families in care decisions,” adds Moodley Naidoo.

The PaSS Top 20 hospitals in 2016, across all size categories, are listed below (alphabetically):

Cormed Clinic

Ethekwini Hospital And Heart Centre - Top 20 hospital over three consecutive years

Gateway Private Hospital

Hillcrest Private Hospital - Top 20 hospital over three consecutive years

Life Bay View Private Hospital

Life Rosepark Hospital

Lowveld Hospital - Top 20 hospital over three consecutive years

Mediclinic Cape Gate

Mediclinic Ermelo

Mediclinic George

Mediclinic Hoogland

Mediclinic Louis Leipoldt

Mediclinic Milnerton - Top 20 hospital over three consecutive years

Mediclinic Panorama - Top 20 hospital over three consecutive years

Mediclinic Stellenbosch­ - Top 20 hospital over three consecutive years

Midvaal Private Hospital - Top 20 hospital over three consecutive years

Netcare Jakaranda Hospital

Netcare N1 City Hospital

Wilmed Park Private Hospital - Top 20 hospital over three consecutive years

Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital - Top 20 hospital over three consecutive years

The PaSS Top hospitals in 2016, by size category, are listed below (alphabetically):

Large Hospitals:

Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre

Hillcrest Private Hospital

Life Rosepark Hospital

Mediclinic Panorama

Netcare N1 City Hospital

Medium sized hospitals:

Gateway Private Hospital

Jakaranda Hospital

Mediclinic Hoogland

Mediclinic Stellenbosch

Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital

Small Hospitals:

Cormed Clinic

Lowveld Hospital

Mediclinic Ermelo

Midvaal Private Hospital