Too often people are disappointed, or worse harmed, after asking for professional help with their health and well-being.
The Healthcare Experience Index (HEI) was developed to monitor consumer-centred care. It measures the fundamental human needs when they ask for support for their health and well-being. The HEI provides an indication of how well each healthcare session met the needs of healthcare consumers.
The Healthcare Experience Index items provide valuable insights into the care quality received by healthcare consumers. This information supports collaborative healthcare that can improve healthcare outcomes.
Interpreting the HEI
The 10-item HEI is completed by consumers after every healthcare session (e.g., medical, psychological, physiotherapy, podiatry).
The HEI has four main metrics.
- Overall healthcare experience. Quality healthcare results in HEI scores of 90% or higher. Anything lower than 90% should be discussed with the consumer in the next session to identify what can be done to better meet the consumer’s healthcare experience.
- Needs met. Clinicians should work collaboratively with consumers to understand consumers’ needs better and identify strategies to better meet those needs in subsequent healthcare sessions.
- Plan to cope. Irrespective of the problem consumers are seeking support with, they need to be able to cope, using healthy coping strategies, until the problem is resolved or living with the problem if they have a chronic illness. Every healthcare provider, therefore, has a role in monitoring and supporting coping.
- Would recommend service. A recommendation is a powerful indicator of the quality of a service. Consumers wouldn’t recommend family or friends attend a service that was not helpful.
Using the HEI in Practice
The 10-item HEI is completed by consumers after every healthcare session (e.g., medical, psychological, physiotherapy, podiatry). This can be done online or using a paper copy. The total HEI is recorded in the clinical notes. Any problems highlighted in the HEI are discussed in the following healthcare session to identify ways to improve care.
Collating HEI data from all healthcare consumers a clinician treats provides an indication of the overall quality of care provided by that clinician. Overall scores less than 90% indicate the need for professional development to improve care delivery.
Collating HEI data across all service consumers provides an indication of the degree to which the service is providing consumer-centred healthcare. The data can be used to inform quality improvement activities (e.g., policies and practices) and the professional development needs of staff.
The HEI graphic can be used on the service website to provide transparent communication to current and potential consumers that the service is committed to consumer-centred care.