The General Practice located at Blackburn Specialist Centre surveyed 154 patients using a Practice Accreditation and Improvement Survey (PAIS). The PAIS is a well-established patient survey widely used by general practices across Australia to gather valuable feedback from patients, which informs meaningful quality improvement within the organisation.
97% of all patient ratings about the Blackburn Specialist Centre General Practice were ’good, very good or excellent’. There were 28 areas assessed by the survey and the results were so positive that it was difficult to choose areas that we should target for improvement. The following areas were noted:
- Opportunity for making complaints
We scored 77 compared to the benchmark median score of 79 (out of 100)
We encourage feedback and view it as an opportunity for improvement. We have a permanent “Feedback/Suggestions” box fixed to the wall of the waiting room at Blackburn Specialist Centre, with forms available under that box. Our website includes the following on the ‘GP Patient Info’ page:
We are always keen to receive feedback about any of our services. Regular surveys are conducted in our waiting room, so occasionally you may be asked to complete one of these. If there are other matters you wish to raise with the practice, you may write to the Practice Manager (PO Box 42, Blackburn South VIC 3130). If you need to take the matter further, you may contact the Health Complaints Commissioner, Level 26, 570 Bourke St, Melbourne 3000. Phone: 1800 582 113.
- Information about fees
We scored 82 compared to the benchmark median score of 81 (out of 100)
In response to your feedback, we undertake to expand the amount of information on our websites regarding fees (there is a page on each website labelled FEES). At Blackburn Specialist Centre we will improve signage in the waiting room about our fees.
The frequent introduction of new item numbers with complex eligibility by the Government during the COVID-19 pandemic no doubt led to some confusion regarding fees among our patients. Remember the days when we mainly billed \’standard\’ or \’long\’ consults? These days we work through a labyrinth of eligibility criteria and rules before arriving at the correct item number to bill. Often these item numbers are dependent on medical conditions (for example, the patient has a \’recent\’ diagnosis of Covid-19 confirmed by RAT or PCR testing, or has a specific chronic condition) which means that only the GP can determine the relevant item number to bill AFTER providing the service. These situations make it difficult for the reception team to predict the billing and therefore, to inform the patient about the probable costs when the appointment is booked. We empathise with patients and understand that uncertainty around fees can be stressful for patients. Patients are encouraged to discuss any financial difficulties with their GP.
We also plan to install an information screen in the waiting room at the Blackburn Specialist Centre and will ensure fee information, as well as information about making a complaint is included there.
We thank the patients who completed surveys for the Blackburn Specialist Centre and are overjoyed that the vast majority of feedback showed that our efforts to provide professional and caring service are being recognised.
Special thanks to the survey respondent who wrote:
“I can’t think of anything that would be required. I have been a patient from the beginning of the practice and have been fortunate to receive excellent care that has continued to today and I’m sure will continue moving forward. [Doctor] is a very valued member of my and my family’s medical team surrounding us and has guided us through some difficult times. Their professional, proactive manner, their medical knowledge and willingness to go the extra mile when needed is exemplary. We are fortunate to have them as our family doctor. Also a big thank you to the nurses at the clinic and also the reception staff who are always very welcoming, efficient and as the face of the practice is an important aspect of the clinic. I’m more than grateful for our all round care of myself and my family.”
Our mission: Providing exceptional healthcare to our community.