Moving Beyond Patient Experience to a Better Human Experience

How software advancements are connecting caregivers and patients in powerful new ways

patient experience

Over the past several years, hospital and health system leaders have been struggling to lowers costs and navigate unprecedented change, while also keeping employees engaged and patients safe and satisfied. This is critical as reimbursement is increasingly being tied to results from patient satisfaction surveys, which many systems have struggled for years to improve.

Smart leaders and organizations realize that there is one factor above most that can either make or break their success – communication. In fact, two of the most impactful domains within the publicly available Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey are focused on communication with doctors and nurses. You don’t need to be in healthcare to understand the importance of good communication on employee engagement and customer perception—its universal—but in few other industries is it more devastating or costly when communication breaks down.

As consumerism continues to remold healthcare delivery, the importance of communication – both among caregivers and with patients continues to increase. Fortunately, a new generation of software tools is making the process easier.

Patient experience matters

Patient experience (PX) is a simple concept to define, but it’s more difficult to improve and sustain. Variables that impact experience are plentiful – from clear communication to provider empathy to care coordination for patient discharge planning – and there are bottom-line consequences. According to The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, hospitals with “excellent” HCAHPS patient ratings between 2008 and 2014 had a net margin of 4.7 percent, on average, as compared to just 1.8 percent for hospitals with “low” ratings.

 

If we start by remembering that patients are humans first, we will know that good communication is a high priority for them. In fact, the Beryl Institute’s Consumer Study consistently ranks listening and communication in the top qualities patients look for when selecting a provider. It’s the same in every human relationship.

Whether in the hospital, in their doctor’s office or at home, a human with a condition that’s being treated wants to be well informed, listened to and understood. Lack of timely and accurate information can cause fear; never a good thing when someone is healing. And good communication starts internally, provider to provider, colleague to colleague.

What’s the connection to provider satisfaction?

Numerous statistics point to high rates of stress and burnout among our healthcare providers. And employee engagement and satisfaction are directly tied to patient satisfaction. Finding solutions that create a better workplace experience is a must. Leaders who can find a solution that truly gives providers time back in their ever-shrinking day are sure to be heroes. Unfortunately, many leaders have found themselves stuck in a sea of broken promises, confusion over options and challenges with interoperability and getting buy-in from the front line.

Using next generation care team collaboration technology to improve patient and provider experience

Care team collaboration has never been more important to patient experience, reducing medical errors and easing workplace stress. Delayed or dropped communications can cause anxiety, or even panic. Medical errors caused by dropped communications are still a top cause of patient suffering…or worse, death. Again, the stakes could not be higher. Think about it. If a patient’s care team is confident that updated patient information is communicated instantly to the entire team, won’t the caregiver experience be lighter and more efficient? Happier care teams mean happier (and hopefully healthier) patients.

Old vs. New vs. Now

You probably have a mobile phone in your pocket right now. In fact, you may be reading this article on it.

Think of all the legacy devices that smart patient journeyphones have replaced. They handle our music, video, photo, the internet, an HD camera, a compass and even a flashlight.

That’s what modern care team collaboration technology does for hospital communications. It replaces pagers, SMS, fax, notepads, phones and more with a single, unified platform.
These platforms also guard against human mistakes that lead to medical errors and a poor patient experience.

Look at the table below. This is just a small sampling of the improvements enjoyed by hospitals that deploy an established next generation (beyond basic texting) care team communication platform.

Doesn’t my EHR do that?

The short answer is no. The Electronic Health Record serves as an electronic record of a patient’s medical encounter(s). Disseminating key information to the right person and at the right time is not an EHR’s strength or core competency. Physicians and nurses want to use their smartphones to communicate regarding patient care. Surveys show that they are already doing it, whether in a compliant format or not.

It just makes sense

Patients helped by care teams using modern technology have a better experience overall. No dropped, delayed or erroneously routed communications. Just simple, quiet efficiency that provides a host of benefits.

Learn more about patient experience

Our hometown, Nashville, is a recognized healthcare hub and center of excellence for thought leadership within the healthcare industry. One expert firm, Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock, provides strategic communications consulting to healthcare providers. Jarrard Associate Vice President Aaron Campbell writes about patient experience. Click to read Aaron’s latest article, Moving Beyond “Patient Experience” to “Experience” For Measurable Results.

Want to improve patient experience?

Check out QUARC.

 

ABOUT US
MEDarchon was founded in 2012 to improve the efficiency and accuracy of healthcare communication. QUARC is our cloud-based, real-time, unified platform for clinical communications.
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