The Patient Feedback Instrument

The RACGP Standards (5th Edition) have emphasised the importance of patient-centred feedback. Internationally, and in Australia, there is growing emphasis on the robust and meaningful collection of information about patient experiences in both primary and tertiary care settings.

In order to ensure that practices are provided with the opportunity to use well designed, valid and reliable methods of gaining patient feedback, practices are required to use a RACGP endorsed method (such as a questionnaire) to gain feedback from patients.

CFEP’s Patient Questionnaires have been approved by the RACGP to meet the patient feedback component in the 5th Edition Standards for Practice Accreditation.

Description of the Patient Feedback Instrument

The Practice Accreditation and Improvement Survey (PAIS) provides doctors and practice managers with structured patient feedback.

The PAIS report includes written comments from patients, a statistical summary sheet, three to four tables, and three graphs. The results are presented in a simple format that provides, at a glance, information to doctors and practice managers on structured patient feedback.

The questionnaire has been designed to gain patient feedback on the actual practice, the doctors/nurses seen during the consultation, the practice staff and continuing health checks.

In this way, the practice will receive an overall picture of the total surgery experience of the patient.

Validity and reliability of instrument’s design and methodology

PAIS was designed from a number of sources, such as a review of the international literature, input from consumer focus groups, GPs and consultation with international researchers. A number of published articles in academic peer-reviewed journals are available.

Greco, M.; Sweeney, K.; Brownlea, A. and McGovern, J. 2001. Practice Accreditation and Improvement Survey (PAIS) - what patients think. Australian Family Physician.. Vol. 30, No. 11, pp. 1096-1100. Please click here to view publications.

Administrative ease for patients and general practices

PAIS is an exit-survey which is administered by the receptionist to a number of consecutive patients (dependent upon the number of doctors/nurses within the practice). The questionnaire contains 28 items which are rated by patients and it takes about 3-5 minutes to complete. This survey incorporates the doctors’ Interpersonal Skills Questionnaire (ISQ), presently administered by CFEP within the RACGP and ACRRM Professional Development Programs. Doctors and receptionists have found that this survey is readily understood and easily administered.

Results from patient responses are aggregated and presented in graphic format to the practice according to various patient characteristics such as gender and number of previous visits. Comments from patients are also provided anonymously. A snap shot table provides the required information for AGPAL and other accreditation surveyors.

Category 1 QI & CPD clinical audit option

There is also a Clinical Audit option available. Individual results packages are provided for each doctor participating and upon completion of the GP Reflective Exercise are awarded 40 Category 1 Clinical Audit Points (RACGP QI & CPD) and 30 Extended Skills points (ACRRM PDP).

Please contact us for further information.

Your Feedback

“I confess that I was irritated by the effective need to have an outside survey done as part of accreditation. However, even given the small numbers, the survey has proved worthwhile in both reinforcing the fact that we seem to be on the right track and also in highlighting areas that might benefit from improvements”

Practice Manager

“We found that our patients were very happy to participate in the feedback surveys as they felt that they could have their say”

Practice Manager

“Thank you for our PAIS feedback survey report. We were pleasantly surprised as it was presented in a clear and professional format to clearly indicate the areas we would need to improve. We are already in the process of updating and improving our waiting room. We will use your survey to give feedback to our staff i.e. receptionists, practice manager and doctors. We are quietly confident that your report findings will help us to improve and prepare for a successful accreditation visit with AGPAL”

Practice Manager