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Media release

Patients more positive about experiences of hospital care during pandemic-affected 2020

The Bureau of Health Information (BHI) has today released patient survey results reflecting the experiences of more than 16,000 adults who were admitted to 75 NSW public hospitals in 2020.

BHI Chief Executive, Dr Diane Watson, said patients who responded to the Adult Admitted Patient Survey 2020 gave mostly high ratings of the care they received.

"Patients were much more positive about the care they received in 2020 than in 2019, even before the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr Watson.

"Almost all patients (95%) said, overall, the care they received was 'very good' or 'good'. Notably, the percentage of patients who said 'very good' was up from 67% in 2019 to 71%, and was higher or the same as 2019 for most months."

Patients also provided positive feedback on aspects of safe, high quality care:

  • Of those patients who experienced pain, more than seven in 10 (76%) said hospital staff 'definitely' did everything they could to help manage it – up from 71% in 2019.
  • More than seven in 10 patients (76%) said hospital staff took their family and home situation 'completely' into account when planning discharge – up from 73% in 2019.
  • Around eight in 10 patients (82%) said health professionals 'always' explained things in a way they could understand – up from 80% in 2019.

Dr Watson said the survey results also provided feedback about where patients think there is room for improvement in the care they received. For example, two in 10 patients (20%) said they received contradictory information about their condition or treatment.

"Healthcare professionals and system managers can now use these results to see those areas where patients provided positive ratings of their care, and where they can focus improvement efforts," said Dr Watson.

BHI has also today released survey results that reflect the experiences of almost 9,000 patients who received care in 43 outpatient cancer facilities in NSW in 2020.

Almost all patients (99%) who responded to the Outpatient Cancer Clinics Survey 2020 said, overall, the care they received was ‘very good’ (87%) or ‘good’ (12%).

The Snapshot report also examines the experiences of patients in rural and regional facilities compared with urban facilities.

For the majority of questions, there was no significant difference in experiences between patients in rural and urban facilities, including for overall ratings and outcomes of care. However, there were some differences – for example, 88% of patients in rural facilities said the care they received in the clinic was very well organised, compared with 84% in urban facilities.

Page updated: 9 Nov 2021