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Why is the survey important?

The National Patient Experience Survey is part of a broader programme to help improve the quality and safety of healthcare services provided to patients in Ireland. The survey tries to understand how patients interact with the healthcare system and how they experience this process. A major advantage of a national survey is that it allows us to measure patient feedback in a rigorous and systematic way. The survey will involve 40 public acute hospitals.

The results of the survey will provide a rich source of information to help improve hospital care in Ireland. The hospitals participating in the National Patient Experience Survey will use the results to develop quality improvement plans, which will outline how patients’ priorities will be addressed in the future. Quality improvement plans will be available on this website.

Find out more details on how hospitals can use the survey data.

We have asked patient representatives to tell us what patient experience means to them, including whether they think the survey questionnaire will be able to truly capture patient experience. We also asked them how they would like to see this information used.

Studies have shown that patient experience surveys lead to benefits across the healthcare system: for patients, for healthcare providers, for healthcare regulators and for policy-makers.

Benefits for patients

  • Patients can have an input on improvements to the quality of care they receive in hospital.
  • Healthcare professionals will be able to deliver improved care that meet patients’ expectations.
  • In other countries which conduct patient experience surveys, positive patient experience has been linked to improved clinical outcomes and a better relationship between patients and healthcare professionals.

Benefits for healthcare providers

  • Service providers can identify areas for improvement in patient care and track progress.
  • The standard of service delivery can be compared between hospitals; locally, nationally and internationally.
  • In other countries, where patient experience surveys are conducted, positive patient experiences have been linked to better staff motivation and morale.

Benefits for healthcare regulators

  • Patient experience is a reliable measure of the safety and quality of services in hospitals.
  • The quality and safety of care can be assessed against national healthcare standards.
  • Findings help to inform regulatory programmes aimed at continuous improvement at the local and national level.

Benefits for policy-makers

  • The results from patient experience surveys can help to shape local and national policy development in relation to the design and delivery of healthcare services.
  • Measures of patient experience can inform the future planning of health services.
  • Using national patient experience surveys, policy-makers can monitor and evaluate the impact of policy on the delivery of healthcare services.