Patients are at the centre of everything we do

This Patient Experience Week, we are highlighting three initiatives that are helping improve our understanding and communication with patients.

29 Apr 2022

Patient Experience Week

1. The InterpretManager app

Imagine being a patient in a hospital with a limited understanding of, or fluency, in English. It would be stressful not knowing what people are saying, let alone, not being able to communicate how you are feeling without a translator by your side. 

That experience, which can be described as anxiety-inducing, lonely and scary for some, is something some patients from diverse backgrounds go through when they visit a hospital. 

Recognising this as a possible cause for a negative patient experience or even a clinical incident such as misdiagnosis, medication errors or incorrect treatment, our Subiaco hospital’s Cultural, Linguistic and Diverse Groups Committee has rolled out an interpreter app hospital-wide to assist patients and caregivers with language translation.

The InterpretManager app provides live and on-demand in-app video and telephone interpretation services with professional interpreters available 24/7 across over 200 languages. The app is used to improve communication with patients at the bedside for day-to-day conversations, admission and discharge procedures, medical instructions or results and informed consent. With limited access to face to face interpreters with COVID-19 the implementation has been timely and its value means it will continue to be used going forward.

2. Auslan cue cards

A further initiative soon to be rolled out at our Subiaco hospital by the Cultural, Linguistic and Diverse Groups Committee is Auslan cue cards developed in partnership with Access Plus WA Deaf. The cards, which will be available as a bedside tool, are designed to enhance communication between caregivers and deaf or hard-of-hearing patients when visitors, such as family, aren’t around. 

3. Demographics Dashboard

St John of God Health Care’s Demographics Dashboard – an analytics tool which allows us to view and identify demographical and cultural data and trends among our patients – is another tool helping us to understand and deliver care tailored to our patients. For example, the dashboard shows almost 30% of our patients originate from outside of Australia, which demonstrates the diversity of the populations we serve. 

The dashboard will soon be able to report on interpreter use and profile the languages of our patients which will further help with communication and improve our efforts to address health literacy.

“Ensuring our patients feel respected, supported and understood when in our care is absolutely essential to delivering the very best patient experience,” Group Manager Patient Experience and Nursing Strategy Caroline Zani said.

“It’s especially timely to be highlighting these tools and how they help us deliver a better patient experience during Patient Experience Week.”

Patient experience, as defined by the Beryl Institute, is the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organisations culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care.

“In prioritising the experience, outcomes and safety of our patients, we are upholding our mission to continue the healing mission of Jesus by providing healing, hope and a greater sense of dignity, especially to those most in need,” Caroline said. 

“From our clinical and medical caregivers, including our nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, doctors and more, to our corporate caregivers, we thank you for your continued efforts to positively influence and continually improve patient experience across our hospitals and services.

“We are so proud of the many initiatives, services, processes and technology solutions being developed and rolled out across our hospitals and services to positively impact patient care and experience.”