How real-time data can help NHS address gaps in patient satisfaction

A pioneering digital platform, which uses cutting-edge AI technology to analyse patients’ experience of care, could help healthcare organisations identify where and how to improve the patient experience, which remains a key aim for the NHS.

The PEP Health platform was created specifically to provide a novel patient listening tool, helping healthcare organisations to pinpoint gaps and weaknesses in the system. The technology uses cutting-edge machine-learning technology to analyse patients’ experience of NHS services from millions of public patient comments, providing Trusts with real-time insights which they can use to make a direct impact on the patient experience. 

The results of the 2021 British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey – carried out by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) in September and October 2021 and recently published by The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust – shows that the British public’s satisfaction with the NHS has fallen drastically to 36 % – the lowest level of satisfaction recorded since 1997.

By analysing data in real-time, the PEP Health technology aims to take this one step further. Using tailored algorithms, the technology is able to highlight areas for celebration or concern and identify the reasons for improving or declining patient satisfaction.

Dr. Mark Lomax, CEO of PEP Health, commented: “While the outcome of the BSA survey is not shocking, what the results do illustrate is that we need to listen to patients more and our technology can add real value here...We can benchmark and therefore track variations in patient experience and tag by location and by quality domain. As well as analysing data in real-time, this unique theming means that healthcare organisations can better identify the key issues that patients are worried about. The result is they have a better blueprint for improving the patient experience.”

The PEP Health platform works by analysing millions of public comments across traditional survey sources and digital sources such as publicly available social media posts and online forums. It then tags these according to one of eight quality domains, including environment and facilities, fast access, effective treatment, emotional support, involvement in decisions, clear information, continuity of care, involvement of families and carers.

Current analysis by PEP health, for instance, has identified that there are significant variations in the patient experience of maternity services across England; in particular, that variation has widened over the last year and that those Trusts who were already struggling to cope pre-COVID have deteriorated the most.

These findings are in line with the final Ockenden report, published on the 30 March 2022, which recognises the critical need to “ensure families’ voices are heard, listened to and acted upon”, in order to improve quality of care.

Dr. Mark adds: “Better listening to patients has been identified in repeated enquiry findings as a crucial step to improve care, and understanding where and why variations in service provision exist can help the whole system to improve in a way that can prevent 'levelling up' from becoming another meaningless slogan. With the NHS suffering the biggest drop in patient satisfaction in the last 25 years, our tool provides a novel way to help Trusts make real transformative change.”

Founded by Dr Alex Griffiths and Dr Meghan Leaver, PEP Health in a novel patient experience platform that uses AI to collect and analyse the views of patients on the health services they have received, with real-time reporting of what patients really think. For more information, visit: https://www.pephealth.ai

 

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