Guide / All Staff & Volunteers

Patient First

‘Patient First’ is the central focus of the quality systems described in Western Health’s Best Care Framework that support staff to lead, drive and create care that is person-centred, co-ordinated, safe and right for clinical needs.

… developing, implementing and maintaining systems to partner with consumers in planning, design, delivery, measurement and evaluation of care

Patient First is the central focus of the quality systems supporting Best Care and focuses on consumer partnerships to support planning, design, delivery, measurement and evaluation of care.

Click here to view the Patient First Procedure and Framework document. 

In line with the Safer Care Victoria (SCV) 2019 ‘Partnering with Healthcare’ framework, five focus areas have been developed for Patient First to help us identify and bring together systems and improvements across Western Health that may bring real benefits to a positive patient experience.

These focus areas were identified through extensive consultation by SCV with consumers, health professionals and community members. Western Health has adopted these focus areas and adapted consumer goals to align with our Best Care Framework focus on Patient First.

The five focus areas of ‘Patient First’ are:

  • Working Together …  I am included as a respected partner in reviewing and improving healthcare
  • Shared Decision Making … I am supported to make informed decisions about my healthcare
  • Personalised & Holistic …   I receive personalised care that is informed by the experiences of others and supports me as a whole person
  • Equity & Inclusion … I receive care that is considerate of patient diversity and promotes inclusion
  • Effective Communication … I receive high-quality information that I can readily understand and act upon

In line with WH’s ‘Patient First’ approach, consumers are engaged in a number of systems that support the provision, review and improvement of care that is person-centred, co-ordinated, safe and right for clinical needs.

These include:

  • Engaging consumers in partnership opportunities
  • Co-designing care and service improvement with consumers and families
  • Identifying and enhancing key staff-patient communication and decision-making points across the patient journey
  • Incorporating consumer views and experiences into training and education
  • Using patient stories and feedback data to inform care and service delivery improvements
  • In consultation with consumers, improving the cultural safety of vulnerable patient groups
  • Engaging consumers in the development of clear written information
  • Providing different ways for consumers to provide feedback about their experiences in healthcare

Developing, implementing and enhancing systems to support ‘Patient First’ is a shared responsibility across all of the areas of Western Health.

A ‘Patient First’ Committee brings together and supports system improvement designed to bring real benefits to a positive patient experience. Membership of this Committee includes staff who have specific roles regarding consumer partnerships, as well as those with a special interest in this area.

The Patient First Committee oversaw a baseline Maturity Self-Assessment of Patient First against the four governance elements of the Best Care Framework was undertaken in October 2019.The Assessment outcome was a current rating of 3.4 out of 5. This places the  based ‘Patient First’ maturity rating at Level 3 in the rating scale noted below:

  • Level 1 – Foundational … Limited ‘Patient First’ capability
  • Level 2 – Building … High potential for ‘Patient First’ capability
  • Level 3 – Refining … Gaining ’Patient First’ momentum
  • Level 4 – Consolidating … ‘Patient First’ leaders
  • Level 5 – Advanced … Innovation trailblazer

The Maturity Self-Assessment will be re-taken towards the end of 2020.

The annual Systems Supporting Best Care Survey includes questions on staff practice of Patient First. The following is the 2019 response to the following questions: