Patients are being asked to share their experiences of the hospital care they received during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) launched its fourth National Inpatient Experience Survey on Saturday, May 1st.
The survey asks patients about their admission to hospital, the environment of the ward they were treated in, and their discharge from hospital.
More general questions about care during the pandemic, such as staff communication and the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) are also included, as are questions about contact with family members and/or friends, given visitor restrictions.
The survey contains 67 questions in total.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the survey was “an invaluable tool” that gives patients “a direct say in improving the quality and safety” of the country’s health services.
He said the results from the year’s survey would be particularly important given the changes in undergone by Irish hospitals over the past year.
“I look forward to receiving the results of the survey to find out what is working well in our hospitals and how the findings will be used to improve patient experience into the future.
“In what has been an exceptionally challenging year for our frontline healthcare workers and hospital staff, they have continued to demonstrate their ongoing commitment and dedication to our patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
HIQA’s Director of Health Information and Standards and Director of the National Care Experience Programme, Rachel Flynn said it was now “more important than ever” that as many patients as possible inform HIQA of their experiences of hospital care.
Ms Flynn said HIQA wanted to use the survey to “identify what works well, not only in terms of Covid-19 management, but also within the wider suite of hospital services."
“It is through direct engagement with patients, listening to and learning from their experiences, that we can bring about effective and sustainable changes across the healthcare sector,” she said.
HSE CEO Paul Reid acknowledged the commitment of hospital staff throughout the pandemic and encouraged as many people as possible to complete this year’s survey.
More information on the survey can be found on the National Care Experience Programme's website