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Discovery survey: Top 20 hospitals announced

By Angelique Ruzicka

Gateway Private Hospital in Kwazulu-Natal beat stiff competition to make it to the top of the list of 20 South African hospitals giving members the best experience in quality care. Gateway was followed by Lowveld Hospital and Cormed Clinic, two small hospitals based in Gauteng. Meanwhile, the North West came fourth with Sunningdale Hospital.


The Western Cape came eighth with Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital, but the province had the most hospitals (eight) included on the list. KwaZulu-Natal has four hospitals among the top 20 and Gauteng has five.


The Discovery Health patient survey scores (PaSS) for 2015 were released this week. Discovery Health said it collected data on South African hospitals from structured surveys conducted among adult members of medical schemes Discovery Health administers following their discharge from hospital.


“Measuring quality of care is standard practice in many healthcare systems the world over. Our measurement and feedback on quality of care, combined with strategies that healthcare providers apply, have the potential to make a significant difference to healthcare delivery. We’ve already started seeing this in the latest survey results. There is greater awareness from healthcare providers regarding quality of care, and an additional 20 hospitals meet the criteria and were ranked highly by members of medical schemes, which is very encouraging,” said head of quality care at Discovery Health Dr Roshini Moodley Naidoo.


There has been a vast increase in the responses Discovery Health received around quality of care at hospitals through PaSS since 2013. Across all hospitals there have been gradual improvements in survey scores for nursing care and communication, and sharing medical information. Although scores for the hospital environment have not shown any significant change since 2010, hospitals are being rated up to 8% better than three years ago. 


“Discovery Health congratulates hospitals that have demonstrated excellent scores, and those that have implemented initiatives to improve patient experience. Patient experience is an important component of care and has the potential to give our healthcare system a more patient-centred focus. Such healthcare systems aim to understand the needs of patients, to involve them in decisions about their care, and to respond quickly to their needs. Healthcare systems that place a high value on quality of care have shown to save costs and have improved health outcomes for patients,” said Dr. Naidoo.


The method 

Hospitals were objectively measured on in-hospital healthcare service elements based on patients’ experience. Some of these elements include: responsiveness of hospital staff, how well pain was controlled, and the adequacy of discharge information during the hospital stay. To ensure any comparison of patient experience between hospitals is as fair as possible, the analysis of data considers factors that hospitals cannot reasonably control – such as the nature of illness and demographic factors such as age and gender. 


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