Navigating the conflicting objectives of PROMs programmes to get a Win/Win for management and clinicians

While the benefits of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) programmes are well established and significant, at Cemplicity we often hear frustrations from health providers about how they can’t agree on how best to deliver PROMs across their organisation. The challenges arise because PROMs programmes are typically trying to solve two valid, but often conflicting, objectives: System-level quality improvement, value assessment and service redesign Improved clinical outcomes for individual patients Typical Example A scenario we often come across is a hospital executive team wants to implement a system-level process to get a sense of the quality improvement delivered by all [...]

October 23rd, 2019|Categories: Thought Leadership|

Measuring quality of life

There are literally thousands of survey tools out there designed to allow patients to self-report on their own health outcomes. Their names don’t roll off the tongue – consider PROMIS-29, CAW, AQOL-4D, EORTC QLCC-30 … It’s pretty clear that these names originated from the academic community, not from marketing. That said, there was a healthy dose of dark humour shown by Washington University when they named their sino-nasal survey tool “SNOT-22”.  As a health provider who wants to measure and improve health outcomes for their patients, how do you find the right survey tool?  It’s not always that easy. Patient Reported Outcome Meausure (PROMs) tools are a niche area and the survey owners are often within smaller academic bodies with little budget for self-promotion. Cemplicity work with a couple [...]

April 4th, 2019|Categories: Thought Leadership|

Designing a patient experience programme that drives genuine improvement

  At Cemplicity, our vision is not just about building great technology, it's about enabling genuine improvement in patient experiences of care. As such, we are constantly learning from how our client's implement programmes. We look at what mistakes they made in the past and how they can get better. Over the years, this has lead us to develop "4 Best Practice Pillars" that all organisations should consider when implementing a new patient experience programme. Specifically, those pillars are: 1. Asking the Right Questions Enable your patients to talk about what matters most to them and allow them to use [...]

March 1st, 2019|Categories: Thought Leadership|

6 Key factors to consider when designing at-scale, real-time patient feedback programmes

Cemplicity's incubator was the New Zealand health system. Within this respected, high functioning yet small system, we have had the opportunity to engage with people across the sector, from the Ministry of Health to ward staff and GPs. We have co-designed national methodologies and seen the the results of our work through participation in governance groups and close feedback loops. As we step out onto the international stage, we realise how fortunate we have been to have started in NZ. Priorities are clearly articulated in the NZ Health Strategy, and funding lines and improvement frameworks encourage alignment between secondary and [...]

December 11th, 2018|Categories: Thought Leadership|

Comparing initial and follow-up responders to a New Zealand patient experience survey

  I want to draw attention to a study recently published in the New Zealand Medical Journal on non-response bias to a national hospital inpatient experience survey run using Cemplicity technology.  The study was conducted by Michael Thomson, Megan Pledger, Richard Hamblin, Jackie Cumming and Essa Tawfiq (2018) and can be read in full here. Response rates is one of the most common topics of discussion we have with clients. Getting a good response rate to a survey is critical for two reasons. Firstly, to ensure the sample size of respondents is large enough to be statistically reliable. Secondly, to ensure the results are representative of the universe that has been surveyed.   However, there is [...]

November 12th, 2018|Categories: Thought Leadership|

Moving forward with Southern Cross Health Society

Some years ago, Southern Cross Health Society embarked on a journey to enable each of their 850,000 members to provide feedback about their quality of life and health experiences. Not only did they intend to capture the feedback from every patient, but to share that feedback across a broad network of specialities with over 1,000 providers, in a way that drives improved outcomes for patients. Inspired by their ambition, Cemplicity set about making this vision a reality. It wasn't easy - Southern Cross provided us with a number of member and user stories, which outlined how they wanted each key [...]

November 8th, 2018|Categories: Thought Leadership|

There isn’t a single patient voice that shouldn’t be heard.

Every now and then we come up against the argument that “you cannot use email for contacting patients about feedback”. We tend to hear this immediately following a story of an elderly relative who once refused to look at a smart phone - though it is still a valid point. As a result of this, I often see providers reverting to a paper-first approach to collecting patient feedback. Paper that needs to be printed and put out in reception or posted to patients in the mail. Paper that patients have to physically hand back to those involved in their [...]

October 17th, 2018|Categories: Thought Leadership|

Without patients there is no healthcare system. We must act for their sake.

As a starter for 10, who said the following about a healthcare system? “cause people often talk about being scared of change but for me I’m more afraid of things staying the same cause the game is never won by standing in any one place for too long” Actually, I don't think the writer was really talking about a healthcare system if I'm to be completely honest.  I’m sure he’s a patient occasionally, though I doubt he spends countless hours staying up late, cup of tea in hand, leafing through BMJ and thinking about the machinations of health policy.  Notwithstanding, [...]

October 3rd, 2018|Categories: Thought Leadership|

Australian health service providers commit to a home-grown approach to measuring health service quality

 Big changes are afoot in how Australians give feedback on their experiences as patients of local health services, moving away from the traditional US based patient feedback approaches. Partly, this shift is driven by the availability of a new high quality, locally developed survey. It's also a result of technology advances that are allowing providers to adopt a strong improvement methodology without sacrificing valuable benchmarking.Australian Hospital Patient Experience Question SetLed by the Australian Commission for Quality and Safety, a four year project involved Australians from every walk of life. The goal was to understand what matters most to Australians. Rather than assume [...]

September 27th, 2018|Categories: Thought Leadership|

The True Value of Patient Feedback

Why capture patient feedback on healthcare services? Here at Cemplicity, we specialise in helping healthcare organisations capture and use robust, actionable patient reported measures. We deliver simple service transformation programmes for small community providers, as well as large-scale, government led integrated care improvement projects. But how do we know capturing patient feedback has an impact? Are patient experience and clinical outcomes correlated? First, significant literature exists to support the impact of patient feedback on clinical outcomes and service efficiencies. A study by the Imperial College London, published in the BMJ in 2013, explored the link between patient experience, clinical safety and clinical [...]

September 21st, 2018|Categories: Thought Leadership|

The SaaS Evergreen Advantage – Product Evolution

At Cemplicity, we’re a SaaS (Software-as-a-service) platform. There are many practical advantages for organisations to use SaaS including reduced cost-of-ownership, simple in-house IT capability requirements, low maintenance effort and a streamlined procurement process. I’m not going to talk about this well-documented list today but instead will focus on a more subtle and harder to quantify aspect often overlooked in the SaaS value discussion. So, what am I talking about then? A good SaaS platform is Evergreen; it's living and breathing, it learns, it evolves,  it even solves problems you might not know you have yet! A good product design helps [...]

September 21st, 2018|Categories: IT Leadership, Thought Leadership|

International Forum on Safety and Quality in Healthcare

Cemplicity alongside our partner, KPMG Australia, are sponsoring the International Forum on Safety and Quality in Healthcare in early September and I am fortunate to be attending. This is the first time this highly regarded BMJ/IHI-run conference has made its way to Australia so it's little wonder that the conference has sold out. The primary themes of the International Forum on Safety and Quality in Healthcare are Connect, Co-create and Communicate, specifically, how to empower people to make a difference. I am particularly looking forward to hearing from Don Berwick, one of the pioneers of patient experience globally. In fact, [...]

September 4th, 2018|Categories: Life at Cemplicity, Thought Leadership|

Why the FFT Question alone is not enough

Evolving the Friends and Family Test (Part 2) In my last Friends and Family Test (FFT) blog, I outlined the significant benefits of a digital first approach: reaching more people building bigger datasets reducing the burden on staff, and ensuring feedback reaches staff in a timely way. In this blog I want to talk about the FFT question itself, and why it isn’t enough. The FFT question – that is, a patient’s likelihood to recommend a service – is widely used across many industries. It’s regarded as a reliable proxy for customer or patient experience. Cemplicity field many surveys that [...]

August 19th, 2018|Categories: Thought Leadership|Tags: |

Evolving the Friends and Family Test (Part 1)

Many of Cemplicity’s clients and colleagues in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland look to the NHS as the exemplar of a patient centred health service. It was therefore with great excitement I packed up the family and moved to the UK to become both a patient of the system and to join the UK patient-reported measures industry. As a patient, it’s evident in every interaction that we are partners in the system (even if services aren’t always easy to access). The right to express your opinion of a service is deeply ingrained. I’m sure the wide coverage of the Friends [...]

July 30th, 2018|Categories: Thought Leadership|Tags: |

Patient stories – ‘evidence not anecdote’

It’s a fascinating experience to become a patient of a different health system. Having recently moved to the UK from New Zealand, I’ve discovered this first hand. The pride UK citizens have in the NHS was apparent in the last Olympic Games. I’ve never come across a public institution so valued by its people. Perhaps reflecting this close relationship, the NHS was one of the first health systems globally to recognise the importance of patients’ experiences of care, and that systematic patient feedback can result in harm reduction and improved outcomes. The Friends and Family Test The NHS introduced the [...]

July 23rd, 2018|Categories: Thought Leadership|

Patient experience a top driver in US hospital tech investment

Perspective on the EY Future of Health Survey 2018. Something that caught my eye out of the US last week was EY’s most recent Future of Health Survey. In this US survey of 2,455 consumers, 152 clinicians and 195 executives, EY sought to understand how people think digital technologies will improve overall population health and which strategic initiatives are the priority. Among the findings, the survey found that 91% of US healthcare businesses have undertaken or plan to undertake a technology initiative to improve the patient experience in the next 12 months. This is a startlingly high figure and shows [...]

July 2nd, 2018|Categories: Thought Leadership|

Can PROMS save lives?

I spend much of my time talking to clinicians and hospital managers about the benefits of asking patients about their own health through patient reported outcome measures programmes. However, we also encounter scepticism that, by enabling patients to rate their own health, better outcomes will be achieved. A new study, Basch (2017 pp.197-198)1, shines a clear light on the fact it is not whether you should implement PROMs, it’s how you implement it that will have the impact. Frustrated frontline teams who understand the value of patient feedback yet who cannot secure the budget or management attention for patient reported [...]

June 21st, 2018|Categories: Thought Leadership|

Observations on an Ireland Healthcare Summit

Day 1 at the Future Health Summit. Always great to get out of the office and hear people from across the Irish health sector talk about what is going well and what isn’t. What I particularly enjoy about this conference is the inspiring speakers from other European countries. As several people emphasised, it isn’t about copying other health systems but is about learning from them. Personally, copying Serbia’s EHR and Outpatient management system implementation wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Waiting lists gone (and an example of superb project management). Something I’m interested to find out more about is how [...]

Lots in common in the Commonwealth – CHOGM

I’ve just spent a very interesting three days attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (abbreviated to CHOGM) here in London, bringing together heads of state and a wide variety of interest groups, discussing a range of topics. As the UK looks to re-establish ties beyond Europe with Brexit fast approaching, this CHOGM seemed to have special significance for all attending - a sense of reconnecting and perhaps rediscovering the relevance and role of the Commonwealth in the 21st century. What was apparent in all sessions, was the clear divide between developed and developing Commonwealth nations in terms of challenges [...]

April 23rd, 2018|Categories: Life at Cemplicity, Thought Leadership|

Patient centred healthcare through the eyes of a very special man

This morning I had the good fortune to be in Sydney at a breakfast held by our partner, KPMG, discussing what it is to create an ‘extraordinary patient experience’.  Of course this is our bread and butter and the type of discourse that fills the table at lunchtime in Cemplicity HQ.  Today was just that little bit different though, as we had the real privilege to listen to someone who knows all about patient centred healthcare and the patience it sometimes takes being a patient. In 2012, Matthew Ames woke up one morning with a sore throat.  He was a [...]

February 11th, 2018|Categories: Thought Leadership|

Industry News

We are constantly seeing changes in the world of healthcare and patient experience. Below are our top picks of articles highlighting major developments in our industry over the past month. We always love hearing about what our clients are doing and are excited to follow this journey with the New Zealand Artificial Limb Service to provide their patients with more prosthetic options. New Zealand research project explores new design directions for future 3D printed prosthetics The potential for technology to improve the healthcare industry seems limitless with Apple's latest announcement to enable everyone to store personal health records on our [...]

February 7th, 2018|Categories: Thought Leadership|

The importance of communication for a successful national patient experience programme

In recent months we have been heads down, tails up delivering an inpatient experience programme across 40 public hospitals in Ireland. It would have to have been one of the most interesting projects we have worked on and there are several aspects worth mentioning. One of our first observations is the importance of an effective communication strategy. The first key audience is the participating hospitals, from senior leaders and quality teams to the front-line staff, so they know what is happening, why and what their role is in a successful project. The second audience is the patients – they are [...]

It’s about improving patient experiences not just understanding

People who know Cemplicity, know that our concern is to improve patient experience of care, not just to measure patient experiences. We know that technology itself does not bring about better experiences for patients; it’s an important enabler but it’s what our clients do with the feedback that matters. This is a big reason we often work in partnership with skilled advisors like KPMG and the Picker Institute – so that the work doesn’t stop with measurement and the true value of the patient reported feedback can be extracted. Recently, we read a Kings Fund paper looking at the [...]

August 29th, 2017|Categories: Thought Leadership|Tags: |

NPS – Thoughts on its use in a health setting

Often, even before a client talks to us, they will have chosen their research model and the overall rating question that drives much of their reporting and analysis. Private companies frequently dictate the use of Net Promotor Score (NPS) model although it isn't as common for our public sector clients who may prefer an ‘Experience’ model. What is the Net Promoter Score? The Net Promoter Score is when someone is asked to rate, on a scale of 1-10, what the likelihood is they would recommend the service they experienced to friends or family. This scale is broken down into promoters [...]

August 28th, 2017|Categories: Thought Leadership|Tags: , |

The national inpatient experience programme in Ireland; survey closes and the work begins

After years of evidence gathering and preparation and several months very hard work, the Ireland Government has delivered what we regard as the most successful inpatient experience programme ever run. Working with Picker Institute Europe, the programme management (representing three different Government departments and agencies), adopted what can only be regarded as a Gold Standard approach to their first national programme. Over 27,000 patients were invited to give feedback; every single patient discharged from 40 public hospitals across the country. In this initial programme, only paper surveys were used. While this added significant cost to the programme it also ensured [...]