WITH the click of a button, Riverina residents are now able to compare their healthcare experiences with other patients online and provide feedback to local medical providers.
Similar to the My Schools website, Patient Opinion, launched yesterday, gives residents the opportunity to record their healthcare experiences good or bad and express how the medical services could be altered or improved to better their treatment experience.
"We could send out a survey, but people tend to tick boxes and not add too many comments," Murrumbidgee Medicare Local Limited (MMLL) chief executive officer Nancye Piercy said.
"What we are asking them through this, is they put their story on the website."
Comments added by patients or carers are sent to an independent moderator, then added to the website, which members of the public are able to view by searching for their local town or medical service.
With MMLL practitioners working in communities as far away as Griffith, Lake Cargelligo and Tumut, MMLL board director Associate Professor Sue McAlpin believes the service will be instrumental in improving Riverina medical services.
"It (the feedback) can be acted upon by the staff looking back at the services and it's something directors can take action on to improve the direction and be much more responsive to the needs of our local community."
Murrumbidgee Medicare Local is the first Australian body to implement the website which was first introduced by medical providers in the United Kingdom five years ago.
While Wagga Base Hospital's chief body Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) did not indicate if the feedback program was an initiative it would be interested in endorsing, MLHD acting chief executive officer Jill Ludford said the hospital was part of the annual NSW Health Patients Survey which last year received more than 80,000 responses.