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Partnering with patients is just good business

Patients, in collaborating with GenesisCare, are using their experience of a cancer diagnosis to help improve patient safety for others. Speak-up, ‘don’t trust your tired self’ and ask questions are among the top tips provided by Victorian patient, turned consumer representative, Jodie Lydeker.

Jodie Lydeker, a legal graduate and change manager with experience designing and implementing policy reforms across health services was recently treated at the Western Private Hospital in Melbourne for breast cancer. She was also treated for a previous breast cancer diagnosis in 2018 at the Wesley Medical Centre in Brisbane.   

Both my experiences at GenesisCare centres were extremely positive,” said Jodie.  “I felt confident knowing that I could expect the same professionalism and support the second time around in a completely different state. With a background working in state and federal health agencies, and now with a new outlook as a patient, I have a unique perspective on the health system; so, when I was invited to sit on the Consumer Advisory Committee, I very much welcomed the opportunity,” said Jodie Lydeker. “It also marries nicely with my role as a consumer rep at Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA)”.  

One of the recent agenda items reviewed at the Consumer Advisory Committee meeting was safety and quality data, including medication errors. This is particularly fitting, given the theme for this year’s World Patient Safety Day is Medication Safety. We sat down with some of our patients, including Jodie, to ask if they had any tips for people with a recent cancer diagnosis. This is what they said:

Top tips to help keep you safe

Tip #1: Brain fog is real. Like the road safety advertisement says, “Don’t trust your tired self.” – Write everything down.

Tip #2: If possible, a loved one should go along to any appointments, especially when you are receiving medication instructions. This way, you have a second set of ears to make sure you are interpreting the doctor or nurse correctly.

Tip #3: Be the CEO of your own health! Speak up if you have any questions and keep a journal of any medication side effects that you may experience, so you can talk to your doctor or nurse about it.

Tip #4: Ask healthcare workers to tell you what they plan to do before you consent to any procedure. Feel free to ask questions or request written communication. Healthcare workers should tell you what they plan to do before any procedure. Also, you can remind healthcare workers who have direct contact to wash their hands. Handwashing is an important way to prevent the spread of infection.

Tip #5: Bring your doctor a list of your medications, including any current or proposed alternative remedies like vitamins, and remember to mention any allergies you have.

“Listening to the unique perspective of patients is helping us to maintain the highest possible level of safety and quality,” said Helen Fawns, Head of Quality Australia. “Partnering with consumers and giving them a voice in the design, delivery and review of our health service contributes to the positive trend of the patient satisfaction rankings, with the most recent NPS*score coming in at +94 for the quarter of 2022. This is a world class ranking!”

“In the words of one of our patients, We have to work together”- said Helen. “We are privileged to have Jodie as a highly valuable and respected member of the Consumer Advisory Committee, and we obtain great value from this partnership”. Partnering with patients to improve safety and quality is one of the fundamental principles of delivering patient-centred care. In other words, it is just good business.”

Footnote:

*GenesisCare uses the Net Promotor Score (NPS) methodology, which is an internationally recognised benchmark developed by Bain & Company. An NPS ranking of +94 puts GenesisCare in the top 5% of outpatient health service organisations in Australia, according to Press Ganey. The quarter referenced in this article is April-June 2022. 

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