Hospital rates below state average

COFFS HARBOUR'S public hospital has rated below the state average in the overall quality of outpatient care in the latest Bureau of Health Information report.

The Patient Care Experience: Outpatient Services in NSW Public Hospitals report shows that comprehensive care, staff teamwork and courtesy are the most important drivers of high-care ratings for hospitals.

The Coffs Harbour Health Campus received a poor rating from 4% of respondents and an excellent rating from only 16% of respondents to the survey, with 12% rating it fair, 36% good, and 32% very good.

The hospital received its highest marks for patients knowing who to call if they needed help after leaving the appointment, second highest on visits to a healthcare professional being arranged, and third highest on hand basins and alcohol hand wash being available in the treatment area.

The hospital rated lowest on the availability of parking, a statistic which will surprise no one.

“Finding out what matters most to patients shows hospitals the key areas they should target to ensure more people have positive experiences and fewer have negative experiences,” said Bureau of Health Information chief executive Dr Diane Watson.

The report shows that most outpatients are happy with the care they receive. Across NSW, 32% of people who received outpatient services rated their overall care as excellent, 34% said it was very good, 25% said it was good, 7% said fair and 2% said it was poor.

The Bureau's report shows that hospitals receiving the highest and lowest ratings of care are found right across the state and not confined to one geographical area.

However ratings do vary according to hospital type. Outpatient services in smaller, district hospitals were often rated highly by patients, but there are few large flagship hospitals in the list of top-performers.

There are also big differences between the highest and lowest rated hospitals. For example, about 50% of people describe their care as excellent in the highest rated hospitals compared with about 15% in the lowest.

The 6500 patients surveyed were asked nearly 50 questions about the outpatient care they received.

Outpatients are people who visit hospital for appointments but are not admitted.

The report and performance profiles providing fair comparisons for more than 50 hospitals are available at www.bhi.nsw.gov.au



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