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Posted on 02 Apr 2019

The Victorian Healthcare Experience Survey (VHES) program reform continues at pace, driven by key findings from an independent review of the program.

VHES reform so far

During consultations, health services told us they wanted more than patient experience results – they also wanted insights into the data. We have responded by distributing the VHES Voice newsletter with each quarterly data release. VHES Voice highlights key areas where results are changing and provides insights from the analysed data. Further insights and information are now available for health services on the insights tab in the VHES reporting portal.

Health services also suggested improvements for navigating data on the portal. We have added a new search functionality to the VHES portal and have streamlined campus, health service and peer group searches.

Local and small rural health services told us that their small population sizes were limiting their access to patient experience data. We are now approaching all eligible patients who have attended small and local health services for feedback to increase patient participation. We have reduced the reporting threshold on the reporting portal (≥ 10) and in VAHI reporting products (≥ 30) to make more data accessible to small and local health services.

In addition, two new surveys are now in operation: the palliative care survey and the cancer patients’ experiences of care survey.

Next steps

  • We are continuing to support the shift from disease-centred to patient-centred care, gaining a richer, more informed picture of what matters to patients.
  • We are reviewing the VHES questionnaires with a view to piloting a shorter survey with fewer questions.
  • We will pursue a wider program of public reporting of patient experience results this year.
  • Following a successful series in 2018, we hold the Patient Experience Roadshow again in 2019, with a focus on community health data. Further information on the roadshow events will be circulated to VHES portal users shortly.

VHES tender

VAHI is working on an approach to market for survey administration services from 2020 onwards. The current contract with Ipsos Social Research Pty Ltd will be extended to June 2020 to allow for transition to new contractual arrangements. Two advisory groups have been established to inform the future work program, including the tender process, and will convene for the first time in March.

Patient Experience Week 2019

Patient Experience Week is an annual event held at the end of April to celebrate healthcare staff and encourage their continued efforts on behalf of patients.

For those attending Safer Care Victoria’s sold-out Partnering in Healthcare Forum during the week, we encourage you to come to our breakfast event to learn more about the reform of the VHES program.

Are you holding a Patient Experience Week event at your service? Our VHES team can provide information or may be able to attend to discuss the reforms with your staff. Get in contact at to find out how we can support you.