Measuring our members’ outcomes and experiences of healthcare
As New Zealand’s largest health insurer, we paid our nearly $1B in claims in 2019.1 So, like you, we want to be sure of the outcomes and experiences provided to our members under their Southern Cross policy, as well as the impact the treatment has had on their overall health and wellbeing.
By telling us about their experiences and the impact of your treatment on their quality of life, they’re giving us insight into what’s working well and what could be improved.
In order to do this, Southern Cross uses internationally accepted survey tools that measure patient reported outcomes, experiences and impacts on quality of life from both surgical procedures and specialist consultations.
The surveys are sent electronically by a specialist patient survey provider and results are reported anonymously back to Southern Cross. We have collected over 105,000 survey responses from members since 2014. To support ongoing quality improvement, surgical and medical specialists can access their summarised results via an online dashboard and see where they sit compared with other (anonymised) colleagues.
Measuring outcomes and experiences for specialist medical procedures
Our main survey is the Outcomes and Experiences Questionnaire (OEQ) that asks members six questions about their experience and five questions on outcomes. The OEQ was developed initially by Oxford University for the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). Within this survey is a net promoter score that measures the likelihood of a member recommending that specialist to another member. We have been surveying members across all surgical specialties since April 2015 and to date have received over 77,000 responses.2
The OEQ also gives members the opportunity to provide feedback with free text comments, adding depth and context to the results. This addition of the “patient voice” to clinical quality measures is an important lens on private healthcare that Southern Cross can facilitate on behalf of providers. For example:
- What do our members think about their experience with their healthcare provider?
- Do our members think that their quality of life has improved following their treatment?
Measuring changes in health outcomes and quality of life before and after surgery
We use a globally well-established tool called EQ-5D, developed by EuroQol in Holland to measure the shift in health outcomes and quality of life. This survey was launched in May 2015 across a selected group of surgical procedures and asks each patient an identical set of questions about their quality of life both before and after their Southern Cross-funded procedure. To date we have received over 10,000 responses.2
Measuring the experiences associated with consultations
A significant part of reimbursed activity relates to specialist consultations where there may be no associated surgical activity. To measure the impact and experience of consultations we use the Doctor's Interpersonal Skills Questionnaire (DISQ). This is Southern Cross’s newest patient survey initiative. Started in 2018, this survey asks members 12 questions between 24 and 48 hours after an initial consultation with a specialist. The question set is licensed from CFEP (Client Focused Evaluation Program), whose surveys are used by practices internationally. To date we have received over 18,000 responses.2
For information on what your patients see, the questions we ask, etc visit the Patient Survey FAQs page.
Gaining continuing education points from reviewing survey data
We have partnered with CFEP for RACS and NZOA members to be eligible for 10 CME points on completion of a simple reflection exercise after viewing their patient feedback in the personalised reporting portal. Learn more about