Why tell your story on Patient Opinion

Update from Patient Opinion Australia

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Have a story to tell about your healthcare?

Do you want to ‘be heard’ so that your voice makes a difference?

It’s easy as 1-2-3

 

Everyone has a story to tell about their experience with healthcare.  It is the talk of family gatherings and in the shopping centres.  Whether it is a story about a visit to the hospital or your local GP or pharmacy, we all have a story to tell.  It might be something we experienced personally or we heard from our family and friends.  It might be a good story where the staff showed kindness to our child, or a not-so-good story where the nurse might have been rude to us while waiting at the A&E department.

 So how does the public, that is you and me, get a chance to tell our story to the people that matter – that is, the people in the health system that can do something about it?  Health organisations often have a suggestion box or a complaints system, or even a person that you can contact to talk about things.  However, not all of us want to communicate to the health service in this way.  It is often not anonymous and done ‘behind closed doors’, and we are not even sure it will make any difference.  We may encounter a defensive or hostile reception from the health service.  Worst still, we may think our future care may be affected if we speak up or try to suggest ways that things could be done differently.

 Well the good news is that you can now tell your story in a way that is both safe and productive.  You can tell it here at www.patientopinion.org.au which is a not-for-profit charity that helps the public (patients, service users, carers, families, even staff) tell their story anonymously and in a public forum.

 But aren’t there lots of websites where I can do this, like Facebook, Twitter and You Tube?  Yes there are but the difference is that the health services don’t get to hear about this so nothing much will change.  What makes Patient Opinion different is that we get your story to the people in the health service that can make a difference.  You will certainly ‘be heard’ and can view how many people are reading your story.  You can also see whether staff and other health stakeholders are watching your story. 

 And it is safe for you to tell your story and health providers to be able to respond.

It is anonymous so your care won’t be affected.

It is productive because hopefully the health service will respond to you (though they won’t know who you are) and make suggested changes to improve the health service, or continue to do the things that you praise them for.

It is public because all stories on Patient Opinion are there for all to see, so your story is difficult to ignore.

It is accessible 24/7, 365 days of the year because you can write on Patient Opinion anytime.

It is constructive because it doesn’t feel like the type of place where people just whinge or cause trouble.

And it is independent so we have no agenda therefore your opinions won’t be skewed or mistreated.

 By all of us sharing a story on Patient Opinion (good or bad) we can start conversations between the public and health services that lead to better services.  What has made this so simple today is the world-wide-web and our easy access to the internet.

 

 

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