The latest survey results by the New Brunswick Health Council (NBHC) calls for attention to home care quality issues beyond the level of satisfaction if New Brunswickers are to receive equitable and effective care.
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The report, Beyond Satisfaction: Results of the 2018 edition of the Home Care Survey, highlights several instances of wide variability in service quality and results across the province and among population groups. It also calls attention to specific regions of the province where multiple measures of service quality are among the lowest in the province.
“Citizens across our province should be able to expect a similar quality of home care services,” said Stéphane Robichaud, CEO of the NBHC. “Our survey results show that this is not the case for many regions and concerned citizens should be aware of why this is the case.” One measure, Extra-Mural clients who were satisfied with the number of visits they received, varied from 53.9% in Shippagan to 89.0% in Hillsborough (NB average 75.9%). Another measure, home support services clients who experienced limits or reductions in the duration or hours available of services, varied from 9.5% in Minto to 40.9% in Tracadie (NB average 27.9%).
“The other issue that this survey clearly highlighted for us was the need for the health system to set targets for itself with these measures,” said Robichaud. “While we can point out variability, inequities and overall lower performance at regional and local levels, specific targets would enable us to provide more precise reporting to the public and results that would better assist the system in its efforts at self-improvement."
The 2018 edition of the NBHC’s Home Care survey consists of respondents who were clients of the Extra-Mural, Long Term Care and/or the Disability Support Programs during the first part of 2018. Of the 14,068 questionnaires that were sent to clients, 6937 were received by the NBHC for a response rate of 49.3%.
The NBHC has been established as an independent organization that measures, monitors and evaluates New Brunswick’s health care system performance and population health, and that engages citizens in the improvement of health service quality.