Person-centred improvement approaches – An innovative way to look at doing your next Patient Feedback Survey


The importance and value of involving the patient, carer and family in health care planning and decision-making, and providing person-centred care, is widely recognised and accepted as being influential not only on the quality of the health care experience, but also influencing quality of life beyond that health care episode.

With many general practices now being accredited to RACGP 5th Edition Standards for General Practice, this new standard is written to be:

  • Outcome-focused meaning that the indicator focuses on the outcome or the intent rather than the process
  • Patient/person centred meaning that the indicator focuses on what the patient/person receives rather than what the practice does

Module 2 in the new RACGP 5th Edition Standards is Quality Improvement and Criterion QI1.2 – Patient feedback requires general practice to collect feedback from patients, carers, families and other relevant parties.
More importantly it is also about how general practices will respond to the feedback and use feedback to improve quality and the care they deliver in their practice.

Person-centred approach to your next Patient Feedback Survey

Person-centred care is many things, it is how care is organised, how people interact with each other, it is a mindset; a way of thinking. It is when a person feels like they have been treated with dignity, compassion and respect. This includes both staff and patients.

When a patient evaluates their participation in their health care and shares what mattered the most to them from their experience with your practice, through completing a survey or being part of a focus group discussion, the patient is providing important indicators of the quality of the practice health care services.

How you value, or engage with, the patient data as a driver for improvement or change is critical.

It has been shown that inviting the right people (patients and staff) together to talk through what the data is telling them from their perspective, to share what is working well and what is not, generating ideas and actions that you could test together will result in meaningful outcomes for both patients, staff and the practice. You will have noted that this is an example of continuous quality improvement or a PDSA cycle.

If your practice is in the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) or currently preparing for its next round of accreditation or is keen to start working with patients as partners in their healthcare journey, we have a few opportunities available to you!

Karen Patterson from SESLHD has worked with many teams and services across NSW Health on their journey to person-centred care. Karen is available to meet with practices and provide resources and support.

If you would like to find out more information, please contact Catherine Scardilli, Person Centred Medical Neighbourhood Program Lead on 0410270809 or