5 Fundamentals for Healthcare Providers to Improve Patient Experience

Keshav Jeet

Today, healthcare providers in the USA are constantly working on improving their patient experience. It has become a primary indicator to measure the effectiveness of their care and service delivery.

It determines the overall performance of the healthcare providers and enables them to provide top-notch customer satisfaction.

But delivering high-quality patient experience is harder for hospitals than it sounds. This is due to the varied interpretations of quality care delivery and patient satisfaction since there is no uniform definition that determines them.

Patient satisfaction and the outcomes lack the evidence that shows an interconnection between the two, which is why healthcare providers are sceptical whether they’re on the right track of improving the patient experience or not.

Patient satisfaction surveys for measuring patient experience

The 2016 hospital value-based purchasing (VBP) program addresses patient experience as one of the most significant factors in determining the healthcare providers performance.

To understand the gaps in delivering quality patient experience, patient satisfaction surveys are seen as the tested, validated, and authentic ways of measuring the experience.

They enable the healthcare providers to identify the places where they went wrong, implement improvement systems, and can measure the new results against the previous ones to ensure that they have progressed. For delivering such value-based care, patient satisfaction surveys have become an essential aspect of measurement.

One of the leading patient experience surveys is the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) which was initiated by CMS and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). It measures the service level of the hospitals, monitors its reputation, and has reimbursement implications for providers.

It determines the hospital’s performance on the basis of several factors including communication between doctors and patients, the responsiveness of staff towards patient problems, hospital environment, pain management, medical communication, and information related to discharge.

With the help of this survey, healthcare providers are able to identify the pain points in delivering effective patient experience and inculcate improvements which can be objectively measured.

5 fundamentals to improve the patient experience

Since there is no specific definition of patient experience, variations occur while measuring it. It is not easy to determine the factors that constitute a good or bad patient experience but all healthcare providers have some basic grounds against which they measure the experience.

However, it is important to do so because the connection between improving patient experience and delivering a better quality of care is evident.

Combining the results of patient surveys with the right tools and incentives can enable healthcare providers to take measurable steps in improving the patient experience, and incorporate innovative technology in the process to multiply the positive outcomes.

To implement such a system, here are the five major fundamentals that must be considered by healthcare providers to improve patient experience:

  1. 1. Patient satisfaction as a scale of measurement and not outcomes

Good patient experience will definitely improve the healthcare providers performance and a negative one will have adverse outcomes.

However, there are circumstances in which even a positive patient experience can lead to negative outcomes which happen in cases when a patient is diagnosed with terminal diseases.

Thus, patient satisfaction must be used as a balance to improve the experience while weighing in the negative impact that it can have. It ensures that improvements are measured effectively and are not interconnectedly affected.

The balance enables them to determine different improvements for different experiences which don’t negatively impact each other as well.

2. Monitoring the care delivery team rather than individuals

Instead of measuring the effectiveness of individual providers, the patient survey must include the overall care delivery team in the measurement.

Asking individual questions is ineffective and negative points attributed to individual providers affect the performance indicators of the whole team.

From nursing care to interactions with clinicians, each point of contact evaluated separately can adversely impact the patient experience results.

The core team working towards proper delivery is, thus, a proper way to reach the desired outcomes.

3. Healthcare analytics for Data Comprehension

Gathering patient data is ineffective unless it is analyzed and acted upon after the survey.

Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) must be utilized by healthcare providers to accumulate insights from the data for identifying gaps, patient experiences, clinical outcomes and employee satisfaction, among several others.

Analyzing patient satisfaction data enables healthcare providers in the USA to come up with better alternatives to care delivery.

Since EDW are used to process the data, it can be accessed and shared by all the clinicians involved in the process which leads to analytics-powered insights into improving the overall patient experience.

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4. Innovative technology for healthcare improvement

Technology has become a major part of the healthcare system as clinicians move towards better ways of care delivery.

Leveraging technology and integrating it with existing processes enables healthcare providers to enhance the patient experience. They can implement tools that reduce patient stress and utilize location service technology to manage patient appointments and flow.

With healthcare apps, clinicians can dissipate crucial information about the patient’s condition to healthcare partners for proper treatment and communicate in real-time for receiving better health care.

5. Keeping the employees engaged

Employee engagement is shown to have a positive correlation with patient experience.

A one percent increase in employee engagement showed a .25 percent increase in patient’s willingness to recommend the hospital to others and increased the overall performance by .33 percent, according to HCAHPS ratings.

Engaged and satisfied employees deliver a better quality of care which in turn leads to higher patient satisfaction.

The concept of Chief Experience Officer has also come into effect who monitors patient experience and addresses issues that need to be resolved.

Wrap up

Patient experience is an important indicator to determine how good or bad a healthcare provider is doing.

Clinicians are eager to gather more patient satisfaction data so as to implement changes that can increase their satisfaction and provide a better experience.

The entire healthcare system has now integrated patient satisfaction surveys to gather useful insights which can enable them to improve the experience and quality of care delivery.

TechJini is a leading healthcare app solutions provider that enables your digital healthcare transformation through innovative apps improving the positive patient experience.

Get in touch with us today and kickstart your journey to improve the overall healthcare performance.

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about the author

Keshav Jeet

Keshav is the most creative and innovative thinker who is never isolated with the bandwidth. He always strives to bring out the potential of technology to deliver a remarkable impact. Started as a programmer he gradually gained expertise in Developing, Designing and Architecting solutions for startups and enterprise. He has varied experience from healthcare, public procurement, ERP and mobility. He helps clients ideate, innovates and uses cutting-edge technologies to solve real-world problems. He brings technological leadership, by evaluating and implementing solutions on next-generation technologies.