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Cancer patients use smartphones to provide feedback on their care experience

Published 28 June 2021

Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) and digital health company The Clinician, have successfully completed an Australian Digital Health Agency pilot project that enabled cancer patients to use their smartphones to provide feedback on the quality of care they received.      

Acting Executive Director of Nursing at PAH, Leanne Stone, said this was an important project for the hospital as a cancer diagnosis was confronting enough for the patient, who are often inundated with multiple forms and documents both prior to and during their treatment.

As clinicians, we can be focused on treating the symptoms that our patients are facing and this project has reinforced the importance for us of also focusing on our patients experiences when being cared for, which in turn can lead to better quality care, improved health outcomes and more accessible and effective health services,” Ms Stone said.

Amanda Cattermole, CEO of the Australian Digital Health Agency, said PAH in partnership with The Clinician were funded by the Australian Digital Health Agency to develop a digital solution to improve the patient experience and the quality of patient-sourced health data for their healthcare providers.”

This project is one of a series of digital health initiatives the Agency has supported to foster emerging technologies and the use of data in patient care.

The PAH project was designed to improve care quality and safety for cancer patients by providing clinicians with actionable patient experience insights. This involved the electronic distribution of a newly developed patient-reported experience - cancer (PRE-C) questionnaire to all patients receiving cancer services at the hospital.

These types of patient experience questionnaires, called patient-reported experience measures (PREMs), are validated assessments that quantify whether healthcare services meet the needs of patients.

There is compelling evidence to show that by incorporating this patient input into routine practice, coupled with timely response to this feedback, the quality and safety of care delivered are improved,” Ms Stone added.

The technical solution, powered by The Clinicians digital health platform, ZEDOC, develops actionable patient-reported experience insights for driving service quality improvements.

The Clinicians Chief Health Information Officer, Dr Koray Atalag said This digital health project had the most ambitious interoperability and integration goals I have encountered in my 20 years of professional career in this area so far.”

The scope of health information exchange included full integration with the state-wide deployed Patient Administration System (PAS), Hospital Based Corporate Information System (HBCIS) and electronic medical record system (ieMR) as well as My Health Record.”

As a dedicated digital solution for capturing, analysing, and reporting patient-generated health data, ZEDOC enabled the project team to create intelligent prompts notifying the hospital team of patient perspectives requiring action. Automating the delivery of these prompts through email/SMS/push notifications and allowing hospital staff to rate the appropriateness of the prompts led to continual improvement of the system.”

The results of the project were extremely positive, demonstrating the validity and feasibility of collecting the new cancer specific questionnaire to drive service improvement. Patient feedback was positive with individuals typically preferring to use their smartphones for the assessment and most being able to complete the PREM within 10 minutes. The feedback from providers was equally positive, who found that the ZEDOC platform enabled a completely streamlined patient experience feedback process yielding very high response rates - almost 100 per cent with the inclusion of in-clinic administration of PRE-C.”    

Ms Stone said that initial learnings from this test bed project and others around the globe provide the evidence to put patient perspectives at the front and centre of care delivery to further bolster quality and safety improvement initiatives - at scale.

The successful deployment of the project has proven the feasibility and transferability of patient generated health data collection across the Australian healthcare system,” Ms Stone said.

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About the Australian Digital Health Agency

When it comes to improving the health of all Australians, the role of digital innovation and connection is a vital part of a modern, accessible healthcare system. Against the backdrop of COVID-19, digital health has seen exponential growth in relevance and importance, making it more pertinent than ever for all Australians and healthcare providers.  Better patient healthcare and health outcomes are possible when you have a health infrastructure that can be safely accessed, easily used and responsibly shared. To achieve this, the National Digital Health Strategy is establishing the foundations for a sustainable health system that constantly improves. It underpins and coordinates work that is already happening between governments, healthcare providers, consumers, innovators and the technology industry.

For further information:

The Australian Digital Health Agency is a statutory authority in the form of a corporate Commonwealth entity.

About The Clinician

The Clinician is a digital health innovator building value-based solutions to help organisations manage patient-generated health data and digitise care pathways. Their flagship digital platform,  ZEDOC, integrates with electronic medical record (EMR) systems and communicates directly with patients to automate the collection of patient-reported health data (PROMs  - Patient Reported Outcome Measures  and PREMs - Patient Reported Experience Measures), as well as data from wearables and connected medical devices.  By streamlining the collection of PROM, PREM, and wearable information and enabling the data to be analysed directly within the EMR through interactive dashboards, ZEDOC generates insights that improve health outcomes, enhance care delivery, and reduce costs.

For more information:

For more information: Princess Alexandra Hospital | Metro South Health

Media release - Cancer patients use smartphones to provide feedback on their care experience (PDF, 236.76 KB)

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