How Kyabram District Health Service is improving the community’s healthcare experience one smiley at a time.

Kyabram District Health Service (KDHS), a Healthcare service provider in rural Victoria Australia, wanted a simple way to gather continuous patient feedback.  They wanted a solution which would allow them to quickly and efficiently measure the success of new initiatives implemented throughout their health service.

HappyOrNot has been a part of the Experience feedback initiative that has seen Kyabram receive industry leading results and recognition as a leader in consumer engagement and the high level of quality care they provide. KDHS was awarded the 2017 Victorian Healthcare Association Patient Engagement Award and was able to use HappyorNot to demonstrate the improvements and quality of care.


In August 2016 Kyabram District Health Service (KDHS) implemented the award winning HappyOrNot service.  Peter Abraham, CEO of KDHS met HappyOrNot resellers Push My Button at a Health conference having heard about the service from another health service provider.

“The system is so simple to use with just one question and a selection from four buttons to push.  There is none of the usual rating scale 1-10 questions and not vague answers to consider. You are either “Happy or not Happy”.

Our team had some concerns of the system at the start for two reasons.

Q.As a smaller health service in respect of activity, were we going to get enough “pushes” to have meaningful data?

A: KDHS receives an average of 400 pushes across its four units per month.

Q:Would we get children and others (unhappy consumers) pushing the buttons continuously, thereby making us question the results.

A: The units have a delay set between each push which can be easily adjusted to counteract repeat pushing. Units can also be “turned off” at particular times when the survey area is closed or quieter.

The Approach

KDHS had developed a vision to always “put people first” in its approach to care through its core values of empathy (see what they see) and a community approach to care. Through the application of these values, KDHS was seeking ways in which it could better engage with its community.

KDHS conducts regular healthcare experience and staff culture surveys as a component of its state funding requirements as a public health service of Victoria.  Such surveys identify specific areas within the care experience that need improvement.

The challenge faced when addressing these areas for improvement was to firstly identify what the source of the problem was so that rectifying initiatives could be developed and then to closely measure whether the initiative applied resulted in improvement. The HappyOrNot one question model enables KDHS to achieve this improvement by focusing on one specific area for improvement at a time before moving onto the next area. Systematically, this has enabled KDHS to improve its delivery of care in many areas over a period.

The system has also been utilised to test staff wellbeing, one of the key values KDHS hold true; the safety of the environment and how empathetic they are as a health service.


“We have used the results from our quarterly State survey to drive the organisations focus and have used HappyOrNot to measure the effectiveness of the improvement strategies and initiatives.” Says Bev McLaine, Manager, Quality, Experience and Safety at KDHS.

“For example, results were poor on the area of patients knowing the name of the person treating them.  We used HappyOrNot to measure the level of understanding before and after we implemented some simple initiatives and were able to see a dramatic improvement.  HappyOrNot was able to validate the initiatives implemented and provide comprehensive reports to evidence the improvement.

” Instead of waiting three months to receive the next round of survey results, we are able to see results daily and staff are able to see the impacts of their hard work.

The Solution

Patient satisfaction is recorded with a single question to which patients respond by pushing one of four smiley buttons (green smiley face, light green semi-smiley face, light red semi-frown, or red frown).

Responses are recorded along with the date and time and uploaded to the HappyOrNot cloud-based Reporting Service each day. Reports are automatically generated, demonstrating overall customer satisfaction levels, helping to isolate specific days/times of dissatisfaction and making the facilitation of implementing corrective actions more quick and easy.

The Road Ahead

Kyabram District Health Service were nominated for an award Victorian Healthcare Association Patient Engagement Award and were subsequently successful (Oct 2017),

“The results from HappyOrNot have helped validate the work we have been doing around consumer and community healthcare experience.” Says Bev McLaine Manager, Quality, Experience and Safety

“We cannot do without HappyOrNot now”, says Peter Abraham “It gives us the pulse of the organisation and allows us to react quickly to any issues that arise.”   “We have embraced the HappyOrNot Smiley Faces into other areas of consumer feedback such as our complaints and compliment feedback procedures and will review the SMS feedback option.  I love its simplicity!”

About Kyabram District Health Service

Since 1933, Kyabram District Health Service has provided an integrated range of acute, subacute, residential aged care and allied & primary health care services.  Kyabram is located in the centre of the Goulburn Valley, 200 kilometres (120 mi) north of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.  FOr more information visit

About Push my Button

Push my Button is a reseller for the HappyorNot service specializing in the Health industry throughout New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands.

For more information please visit

Scroll to Top