LCHC student volunteers Chantal Greenhalgh, Sharmaine Muro and Vi Nguyen (Submitted photo)

Have your say on healthcare services at the Ladysmith Healthcare Centre

The survey will run until the end of March

The Ladysmith Community Health Centre, (LCHC) wants to hear from the public about the quality of service they provide.

On September 30, a silver kiosk containing an iPad with a series of survey questions was installed near the entrance of the LCHC. The initiative was inspired by a similar program at Nanaimo general regional hospital.

“That was identified a fair time ago that it was a good idea, and was one that we wanted to adopt here at our small site,” LCHC leader Sarah Westgate said.

Westgate said the survey will give patients an opportunity to give LCHC a “report card” on their services and programming. This survey has never been done at the LCHC before.

The survey will last until the end of March, at which time the LCHC will look over the data and integrate it into their programming. They hope to have the survey as a permanent fixture.

Feedback should be from recent visits to ensure that feedback is accurate to current conditions at LCHC.

“Of course there’s always an opportunity for patients to tell their care providers, the receptionist, or whoever, how things are for them, and give feedback. But we’ve never been able to actually capture some data, and get that information,” Westgate said.

When patients aren’t satisfied with their primary care options, they tend to only seek healthcare when they absolutely need it. This results in increased usage of emergency room services. Westgate said the survey will give LCHC the opportunity to change their programming, and accommodate more people before they end up in the emergency room.

The survey also provides an opportunity for student volunteers to get hands-on learning experience at the LCHC. Students from LSS will work as volunteers conducting the survey and helping patients navigate the iPad interface.

LCHC gave the students an orientation for them that included a tour of the building, showed them how to use the kiosk, and created a work flow plan. The students are now comfortable with the LCHC facility, and are excelling in their roles.

“It’s really nice to have some youth here,” Westgate said. “It’s fantastic. We love to have them here.”

The volunteers are on-site to assist with the survey Monday through Friday, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm.

Westgate emphasized that patient feedback is vital to operations at the LCHC, and encouraged all patients to give their feedback.

“We’re all working away here trying to do our job and provide the resources we have to the most need, and support the community to provide care. Without that voice, we’re missing a really critical component… We really value that direct feedback,” Westgate said.

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