Health Insights

Almost half of hospital patients are looking for more support

A hospital stay can be confusing. Here’s how Medibank can help.

Written by Medibank

Do you find the hospital system confusing and difficult to navigate? You're not alone. Medibank research has found patients are struggling to navigate the hospital system, with 28% of respondents saying it's even more confusing than buying a house.

According to the research1 — which surveyed Australians who’ve been to hospital in the last 12 months — nearly half (45%) of patients felt there’s not enough support provided to those going to hospital, causing unwanted stress (81%), confusion (54%), feelings of isolation (10%), and even contributing to compromised mental and physical health for some (58%).

To better address hospital experiences, Medibank has launched Hospital Assist — a new support program that helps members2 feel more informed and at ease in the lead up to their hospital stay — providing personalised support when they need it most, and at no extra cost.

What is Medibank Hospital Assist?

Medibank Hospital Assist will bring together a range of new and existing services to form a comprehensive support program, including a Health Concierge phone service, a Digital Concierge for online assistance, and a 24/7 Health Advice phone line. Additionally, members can access Patient Reported Experience Surveys to learn about other patients’ hospital experiences and make more informed decisions before going to hospital.

Medibank Chief Medical Officer, Dr Linda Swan, said: “We know from our research that patients are calling for more support in the lead up to and following hospital admissions. Our new Hospital Assist program aims to address this, and ensure members feel informed and at ease every step of the way, with help always on hand.

“We’ve been having regular conversations with our members and everyday Australians to find out how we can make health insurance better3. The launch of Hospital Assist is just the latest in a range of positive changes, and we look forward to making further improvements over the coming months.”

Why hospital visits are leaving us feeling confused

The research found half (50%) of patients admitted to spending more than three hours seeking help and advice about their upcoming admission, with one in four (25%) spending five or more hours trying to source the required information.

Looking at the factors concerning patients, one in five (19%) were unsure about how to prepare for their treatment or procedure, while others were confused about the recovery period, such as how to manage pain relief or medicine (21%), foods to include or exclude from their diet (21%), and how to prepare their home for discharge (19%).

“It’s clear that there are a number of unknowns when it comes to a hospital admission – from the process and logistics surrounding a hospital stay, to the management of your health following discharge -- with many patients turning to the internet for answers,” said Dr. Swan. “While medical advice should always be provided by your treating doctor, our Hospital Assist program is here to offer support throughout the journey – allowing you to better navigate your way through the healthcare system.”

1 Medibank commissioned ACA Research to conduct a 5-minute online survey of n=1,020 Australians aged 18+ who have been to hospital in the last 12 months (as an in or out patient). Fieldwork ran from 21 December 2018 to 3 January 2019, with the final data weighted based on the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to ensure the overall results were representative of this audience by age, gender and state.

2 Available to eligible Medibank members with Hospital Cover.

3 The ‘Medibank 100’ is an ongoing program which launched in February 2018. Under the program, Medibank carries out conversations with a group of Australians from all walks of life – both members and non-members.

Written by Medibank

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