Riga, 10 March 2022
Four European children’s hospitals and health organisations join in a unique project ‘VoiCEs’
To promote the involvement of children and adolescents in improving healthcare, four children’s hospitals – Children’s University Hospital in Latvia, Meyer Children’s Hospital in Italy, New Children’s Hospital in Finland, Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s Hospital in the Netherlands – in collaboration with Sant’Anna University in Italy, UNICEF, European Children’s Hospital Organization, and other partners have launched a world-unique project ‘VoiCEs’. Under this project, children will be asked to provide feedback on the services they received and their experience at the hospital. The obtained results will be analysed and used to create the most positive children’s experience in health institutions both locally and internationally.
Strengthen children’s right to be heard
The VoiCEs project aims to strengthen children’s right to be heard by promoting their involvement in the evaluation and improvement of healthcare quality in children’s hospitals. To achieve this, an electronic survey of patients’ experiences and a data platform will be set up at Sant’Anna University in Italy to measure and compare the experiences of at least 16,000 children and adolescents. And, as the worldwide experience with adult patients shows, involving patients in the hospital experience also means better treatment outcomes.
Participation in the project is another way for the children’s hospitals to introduce person-centered care, as a result of which not only are patients provided with quality treatment services, but children and their relatives are also involved in the process to make their experiences as positive as possible.
The project will also raise awareness among children’s hospital staff and other stakeholders about the importance of listening to the voices of children and adolescents as patients, thus contributing to improvements in health care services and hospital experience around the world.
Identifying opportunities and learning from each other
All four participating hospitals will be able to be compare the data obtained during the project, thus assessing the strengths of each hospital, identifying new development opportunities, and learning from each other. It is planned that the collection of children’s and adolescents’ experiences in children’s hospitals will start in August this year.
The target group of “VoiCEs” is represented by children and adolescents aged 0 to 17, and the survey will be adapted to different age groups. For example, for children who cannot read yet, the parents will have to fill in the questionnaire, while older children and adolescents will be able to do it themselves.
Results at European and local level
The European Children’s Hospital Organization, the Italian Association of Pediatric Hospitals and the Picker Institute in Oxford are also involved in the project and will support the communication of the project’s results at European and local level.
During admission to the Children’s Hospital, the patient and his parents will be informed that an electronic questionnaire will be sent to their e-mail or telephone number within 24 hours of discharge from the hospital. It can be opened and filled in using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. It will be possible to start filling out the questionnaire, save during the process and come back later to resume filling it out, and it will be available for 30 days.
The survey questions will cover the children’s experience in the hospital, from the admission process to discharge. The results will be available to hospital staff daily, making it possible to set both relevant short-term goals and necessary long-term improvements.
The project is implemented in cooperation with the European Commission.
More about the project: https://voicesproject.eu