Patient Experience Survey Findings Unveiled by GR OHT

The Great River Ontario Health Team (GR OHT) presented the results of their 2023 Patient Experience Survey on May 29 at an event held both in-person at the Cornwall Public Library and virtually via Zoom. The survey aimed to identify strengths and areas for improvement in local healthcare services, gathering insights from patients across the region.

Sarah Good, Engagement and Population Health Specialist for the GR OHT, highlighted key findings from the 499 validated responses. 55% of respondents resided in Cornwall (or Akwesasne) based on FSA codes, and the report further broke down the demographics of responders. Most respondentsrated their health as good or very good, with common issues related to pain and anxiety/depression. Over 90% reported good or better mobility, self-care, and ability to perform usual activities.

Primary care physicians were the most frequently accessed service (56%), followed by pharmacies (41%), specialists (30%), and emergency departments (28%). Good noted that nearly half of the respondents who visited the emergency department believed their condition could have been treated by a regular healthcare provider if available. Coordination of care emerged as a significant issue, with only 30% feeling their care was very coordinated, while 25% felt it was not. Despite these challenges, nearly 90% of patients felt confident managing their health.

Good emphasized the importance of improving information sharing and communication among healthcare providers. “The biggest takeaway from the survey was the strong correlation between social isolation and poor self-reported health. Those who experience the highest levels of isolation and lack of companionship reported the lowest self-reported health,” she said. Only 36.9% of respondents used online portals to access their medical records, with many citing a lack of knowledge as the main barrier.

The GR OHT is committed to addressing these issues through ongoing projects and future initiatives. “We bring all the right players together to work on system transformation and improve the healthcaresystem,” Good explained. She added that collaboration and resource-sharing among different facilities could lead to more efficient healthcare delivery. For instance, sharing specialized healthcare roles between facilities could address staffing challenges and improve service accessibility.

Significant funding was received from the province to support interprofessional primary care teams and other applications aimed at improving healthcare access and coordination. “We’re hopeful that as these initiatives come to fruition, we’ll see improved access to healthcare services and better coordination between providers,” Good stated.

The GR OHT plans to conduct follow-up surveys to evaluate the impact of their initiatives and continue refining their approach based on patient feedback. The summary of the survey findings can be read on the GR OHT website.


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