“Patient-centered model” - M-Score has touched the patients’ heart
(Story by Nguyen Thi Luyen - Deputy Director of Quang Tri General Hospital)
Nearly two years ago, a patient excitedly told us after being discharged from the hospital: “Your hospital is awesome. Though I have been discharged, the hospital still called to ask me how satisfied I was with their services. It impressed me very much”. I told him that the phone call was made by a staff member of the province’s M-Score initiative and explained to him more about it. He was very happy to know about the benefits that people can now enjoy. His sharing made me feel that those who are in the medical profession like myself should always strive for the hospital’s quality and the patients’ well-being.
The “M-Score in the health sector” Project commenced in March 2017. In the beginning, we were worried whether this implementation would put more pressure on health workers. Nevertheless, with the determination of the provincial PPC, the Department of Health, and the PGH, we realized our responsibilities, not only in our professional efforts, but also in the connection between patients and doctors.
The M-Score Project at the hospital was carried out in two methods, phone interviews with discharged patients and direct scoring via tablets. Initially, data collection was a challenging task, as the contact numbers were usually of the patients’ relatives, or the calls were made when the patients were too busy to answer. The use of tablets was unpopular because many people were not familiar with it. Yet, with determination and gradual adjustments, the Project received thousands of responses from patients, which were then forwarded to the Director and Project Management Board of the hospital
During the first months of implementation, apart from compliments on the ethics of the doctors, their expertise, and the hospital’s facilities, there were also complaints about complicated administrative procedures, condescending attitude of some health workers, unclear explanations to patients, etc. The Director Board of the hospital reviewed the causes to find the most appropriate solutions to these. The results would also be published monthly to all staff members. Accordingly, there would be rewards for accomplishments, and points of improvement for underperformance.
Considering the sincere feedback that the hospital needed more green space, we have planted thousands of trees and constructed three parks, serving as the place for patients and health workers to take a break from their illness and work.
The inpatient unit has set up more examination tables and become increasingly specialized to help patients reduce waiting time and gain better access to services. The hospital has also made phone calls and sent text messages to remind patients of their follow-up examinations and treatment regimens.
Regarding feedback on restrooms and the waiting time to use them, we have adjusted and repaired them to suit the hospital’s conditions, as well as instructing patients to use the restrooms in a civilized manner.
Furthermore, the hospital has proactively transformed through financial autonomy, with the determination to face challenges, continuously enhance professional skills, and foster medical ethics to gain people’s confidence. We have also recruited more qualified doctors and conducted training and retraining activities to enhance our capacities.
The M-Score project has made significant improvement to the hospital. The feedback from patients has contributed to positive changes and motivated our staff members to fulfill the tasks of caring for and protecting the people's health.