6 Ways to Improve the Patient Experience in a Healthcare Facility
Everyone has heard the term “patient experience” thrown about a lot recently. However, some people may roll their eyes if you use this statement in a medical setting. Everyone in the medical field hopes to be able to devote more time to each patient. But, the smallest details may influence patients’ opinions of you and your staff.
Respect for the patient is essential to creating a good patient experience. That’s the minimum for improving patients’ experiences, but more is needed. Today’s patients have higher standards for medical services than ever before. In the past, a convenient location was crucial for retaining clients. Today more than ever, success depends on how well you serve your customers.
The patients now anticipate a level of care more akin to that of a retail establishment when they visit your office. Here are some ways to achieve that:
Enhance communication at all stages of the patient’s visit
You can enhance patient communication from when they first call to schedule an appointment. Establish a protocol wherein patients are sent automated messages reminding them of their scheduled visits. In addition, you may give them a rundown of the process they can expect to go through, as well as information on how to get there and where to park. Automation of this kind is made possible by programs like customer relationship management systems and electronic health records.
When a patient has arrived at your clinic or facility, you may use their ongoing dialogue with staff to enhance their experience further. If you chart the patient’s path, you can discover they are late for appointments because they are having trouble finding their way around the building. Using digital signage’s directional features is one efficient strategy. If you have digital maps and directories, it will be less of a hassle to help patients and visitors find their way around your facility.
Take advantage of digital signage
Digital signage has several applications in healthcare settings such as hospitals, clinics, dental offices, and nursing homes. It’s an effective tool that should be included in each marketing plan for healthcare organizations and can help you streamline care delivery, service, quality of care, and profits earned and enhance the overall experience.
The following is how healthcare facilities may profit from adopting digital signage systems:
- Patients and visitors to a healthcare center may benefit greatly from using digital wayfinding kiosk to help them navigate the facility. With this tool, you quickly facilitate finding the clinic, the patient’s room, the waiting area, and others.
- Patients and visitors to emergency departments may check wait times through digital displays. During such times, displays may provide essential healthcare information, updates, and reminders. You diminish patients’ sense of waiting when they are actively engaged with the presented topic.
- You can provide patients with entertainment specific to their demographic profile, whether age-appropriate content for young children in the pediatric ward or content geared toward the elderly in the geriatric physicians’ offices.
- The correct digital signage content management solution allows for increased patient comfort and positive outcomes. It improves ratings and comments from patients as a result.
- Traditional whiteboards and message boards have been replaced with digital signs at nurse stations and other workplace common spaces, such as employee break rooms. It promotes hospital worker involvement, efficiency, coordination, and communication.
- Facilitates enhanced workflow communication between physicians, nurses, and hospital administration about important topics such as treatment procedures. With digital signage software, teams may more easily share information and discuss health issues.
Implement a patient-centered business model
Adopting a patient-centric business strategy is the first step to improving your patient’s happiness. It requires a clear and firm grasp of the care and experience you want to provide for your patients.
Write out your goals and the steps you want to take to achieve them. The staff manual as a whole has to be geared toward improving care for patients. The same holds for writing job descriptions; doing so will help you find the most qualified candidates to join your team.
To get started, consider the desired outcomes for your patients’ experiences in your clinic. Here are some phrases that might be useful:
- Certain in your abilities
The tone you strike in your writing will serve as a road map for your actions to ensure a good outcome for your patients. Patients will be more satisfied if their needs are prioritized. If your business doesn’t embrace a patient-centered strategy, you risk putting your resources into tasks that won’t improve patients’ experiences.
Monitor patient interactions
Measuring the quality of the healthcare experience for patients, caregivers, and family members is a crucial first step in comprehending these experiences. Quantifying enhancements in patient satisfaction requires a starting point, which a baseline data set may provide. Use this as a standard against which to evaluate the efficacy of various strategies and initiatives.
Track patient reactions to treatment at every stage. CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) is the standard gold survey. The standardized nature of the questions in this survey makes it possible to compare the quality of various healthcare providers on dimensions such as patient-provider communication, facility cleanliness, and patient satisfaction. Likewise, to supplement your CAHPS data, you may also use Net Promoter Scores (NPS), a well-known business indicator in the healthcare industry.
Make use of big data analysis
The proliferation of smartphones, wearable health devices, and tablets has made it imperative to create a personal health cloud that can store and make accessible this more abundant stream of data. A reliable system for gathering, organizing, analyzing, and storing data is crucial as the Internet of Things (IoT) grows in popularity; this data will guide and individualize healthcare choices.
The use of automated patient diagnosis and treatment plan prescriptions will need the creation of big data health clouds equipped with machine learning technology. The diagnostic process, treatment planning, and patient feedback might all be improved with the help of this technology.
The most difficult part is using technology that doesn’t compromise patient privacy or violate HIPAA regulations. Unlike a regular public-facing corporation, a healthcare institution often does not accept money directly from patients and does not disclose information.
Patients now expect to be able to do anything from filling out initial paperwork to reviewing past visits and lab results with their doctors online. You are responsible for ensuring that they can do so without risk.
Do post-visit follow-ups
A follow-up is something that will stick in the minds of the patients. Calling patients after a visit to see how they are doing sends a powerful message. You can never be sure that a patient will return after leaving your office, but this follow-up contact will make a lasting impression. Inquire as to the effectiveness of the drug, if any issues have arisen, and whether any adjustments need to be made.
Ensuring patients have a good time is just as crucial to keeping them as giving them good treatment overall. Your practice’s success depends on ensuring your patients are relaxed and happy. All of the above are actions you can do to make your facility more comfortable for your patients.